Donna Summer died Thursday after a reported battle with cancer, world-class musician Allan Harris says it’s a ‘terrible loss for the world’; go-go king Chuck Brown also dies at age 75
Donna Summer, known as the “Queen of Disco,” died Thursday at her home in Florida at the age of 62; she reportedly died of lung cancer. “While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy,” Summer’s family said in a statement. “Words truly can’t express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time.”
Allan Harris, world-class singer, guitarist and songwriter, and three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist,” recently heard Summer sing, and said her voice will surely be missed.
“I couldn’t believe my ears today when I heard that Donna Summer had passed away,” Harris told genConnect.
“It just didn’t seem possible, she was forever young in my mind. I remember her music and her soulful, beautiful voice that could soar over the backbeat like a songbird. Another beautiful songstress has left us, it seems like her life was too short.”
In 1975, Summer co-wrote and recorded a demo version of a seductive disco track called “Love to Love You Baby,” initially intending it for another artist, but which instantly became an overnight sensation for her. Summer released two albums in 1976: A Love Trilogy and Four Seasons of Love, both of which were smash hits. Just one year later, she released two more hit albums, I Remember Yesterday and Once Upon a Time, and in 1978 her single “Last Dance” from the soundtrack of Thank God It’s Friday won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Some of her other hit singles by the five-time Grammy winner included: ”Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” and “She Works Hard for the Money.”
“During the disco craze, she was a goddess. She maintained her dignity and talent all through her life,” Harris said. “I just heard her sing not too long ago and her voice sounded so fresh and strong. A terrible loss for the world.”
Donna Summer is survived by her husband Bruce Sudano, three daughters, and four grandchildren.
“Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Donna Summer,” President Obama said in a statement. “A five-time Grammy award winner, Donna truly was the ‘Queen of Disco.’ Her voice was unforgettable, and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna’s family and her dedicated fans.”
Meanwhile, musician Chuck Brown, known as the “Godfather of Go-Go” also died this week at the age of 75. Cause of death was organ failure from sepsis. Brown was not only a nationally recognized name in music, but also a local hero in Washington, D.C., for being the king of go-go music — a strutting funk rhythm that is the city’s signature dance genre. Brown’s music has influenced dozens of hip-hop artists who have reinterpreted his funk beats and woven them into their contemporary tunes.
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