Donna Summer dies of cancer, family says

5:04 PM, May 17, 2012   |    comments
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Singer Donna Summer, seen here in a 2008 publicity photo.



Englewood, Florida -- The family of Donna Summer says the disco queen has died at 63.

Celebrity gossip website TMZ first reported Summer's death, saying the singer and songwriter lost to a battle with cancer. She reportedly passed away in Englewood, Florida. That's south of Venice in Sarasota County.

In a publicly released statement, Summer's family said the following:

"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith. While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.  Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."

TMZ also reports Summer died from lung cancer that she may have contracted from inhaling toxic particles after the September 11th attacks in New York City.

Summer was a five-time Grammy winner who shot to fame in the 1970's with hits such as "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff" and "Love to Love You Baby." He pulsing anthems became the soundtrack for the glittery age of sex, drugs, dance and flashy clothes that made up the disco era.

Her sound was a mix of genres, and helped her earn Grammy Awards in the dance, rock, R&B and inspirational categories.

She released her last album, "Crayons," in 2008. She also performed on "American Idol" that year with its top female contestants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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