Donna Summer died this morning at her home in Florida, after a drawn-out battle with breast cancer. She was 63.
Even though she was known as the "Queen of Disco," the performing artist continued to release new music to popular acclaim, long after the genre had been relegated to the margins of culture. She released her first album, Lady of the Night, in 1974 and TMZ reports that she was working on a new record at the time of her death. The singer recieved five Grammy Awards, and a total of seventeen nominations.
Summer was also a style icon in the true diva mold: the singing sensation always opted for long, sparkly gowns, often in bold, extravagent hues or animal prints. She had a soft spot for oversized, glimmering earrings.
Celebrities die as often as the rest of us, but news of Summer's passing comes as a real blow. She could sing her head off, and her energetic dance songs managed to tap into a deep well of feeling. She was the real thing.
I'm sure you'll be Spotify-ing and YouTube-ing Donna Summer all day, but here's a video you might miss: the singer performs at the Louis Vuitton party in 2010, with Marc Jacobs doing backup.
Image via Jeff Daly/WENN.com