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Remembering Donna Summer


Summer performs in Norway in 2009. Photo credit: AP Photo/John McConnico

Summer performs in Norway in 2009. Photo credit: AP Photo/John McConnico

The news that Donna Summer died at 63 today was met with disbelief by most fans of the disco superstar.

Gone too soon. Yet another legendary musician. Never lost her verve.

What pop music lovers didn’t have one of those thoughts cross their minds?

It was especially sad to learn that the sassy, big-voiced singer behind such radio classics as “Last Dance,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “Hot Stuff” was reportedly putting the final touches on a new album.

In August 2010, Summer talked to the AJC prior to her performance at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

“What I’m most proud of is that I’m still here and that there are groups of people that still like my music and still want to hear it and are still interested enough to listen and hear something new that I’m bringing out,” she said. “I can’t take pride in that so much as I feel blessed by God to still be here and make a living out of what I love.

At the show, the cheeky Summer entered the venue to the strains of ‘The Queen in Back” and joked to fans about her wardrobe changes, “Cheer for yourselves because you did pay for them.”

(Here’s a look at Summer throughout the years.)

Though Summer didn’t place much importance on awards, she did earn five Grammys in her career — the last in 1997 for Best Dance Recording — and was named — for the fourth time — as a nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, but not chosen for induction.

Elton John, miffed about the slight, said in a statement: “Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted,” he said. “She is a great friend to me and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly.”

As the news filtered out, celebs began to react on Twitter. Here’s a sampling.

Quincy Jones: Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade.

Betty Wright: Lord have mercy..My sister in song and spirit, Donna Summer…May u rest in daddys arms….we shall meet again in God’s time.

Mary J. Blige: RIP Donna Summers!!!!!!!!!

Nile Rogers: For the last half hour or so I’ve been lying in my bed crying and stunned. Donna Summer RIP

Questlove: Donna Summer. Man I can’t believe this— like “My Baby Understands” was on my workout playlist this morning! This MORNING!

Kylie Minogue: One of my earliest musical inspirations, RIP Donna Summer #BadGirlsForEver

Mario Lopez: R.I.P Donna Summer…I remember roller skating to hits like “Last Dance” “Hot Stuff” & “Bad Girls.” Synonymous with the 70’s.. #QueenOfDisco

What are your memories of Donna Summer?

69 comments Add your comment

Shaun

May 17th, 2012
11:56 am

Wow, so sorry to hear this, she was a legend.

Anderson

May 17th, 2012
11:56 am

This is sad news. I am a fan of her music.

dave

May 17th, 2012
12:00 pm

what a shocker she will sadley be missed by all goodby donna. now we will all be able to here your beautiful voice from the heavens rest in peace

V2

May 17th, 2012
12:01 pm

SO MANY PEOPLE DIED THIS YEAR :(

Missy

May 17th, 2012
12:01 pm

Just heard on the radio…very sad news.

LEMONDROP7

May 17th, 2012
12:02 pm

I still have her album “Love to you you baby” so sad to here this

Darryl

May 17th, 2012
12:03 pm

Great voice, pretty lady, a few hits, but a Legend, come on man!

Valerie

May 17th, 2012
12:03 pm

Wow I really hate that. I didnt realize she had been sick. Rest in peace!

chc4

May 17th, 2012
12:04 pm

Alot of people died last year too. And the year before that. It’s kinda the way it is.

@DiscJockeyEtc

May 17th, 2012
12:04 pm

Disco balls are spinning at half-mast today. So sad. :(

Anita

May 17th, 2012
12:04 pm

WOW, OMG! I am at a loss for words.

Rich K

May 17th, 2012
12:05 pm

Love her, she will be missed.

NANA

May 17th, 2012
12:05 pm

Very sad news.

Renee Jones

May 17th, 2012
12:05 pm

Wow…I grew up with her tunes…she will be sorely missed

Renee Jones

May 17th, 2012
12:06 pm

Wow…she will be sorely missed…grew up with her tunes…a true legend

Stuart

May 17th, 2012
12:08 pm

That is definitely a shock. She was an awesome singer and I always enjoyed seeing her on interviews. She will definitely be missed.

Geneen

May 17th, 2012
12:08 pm

So sad and a class act for sure.

Tag Hunter

May 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

Loved her music. Sad.

Moe

May 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

I’ll always love her music, another lost this year 2012,lets stayed prayed up!!!

JJ

May 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

Love, Love, Loved her…Loved her in the 70’s, loved her always!!!!

RIP Donna. The Queen is dead. :( (

Let me AKS you

May 17th, 2012
12:10 pm

Geeezzz, we are losing all the GREATS right here in a few short years: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, my my my

Moe

May 17th, 2012
12:10 pm

Enter your comments here

B

May 17th, 2012
12:11 pm

So sad. She was still very young.

SAB

May 17th, 2012
12:11 pm

Awe ssoooo sad..Disco Queen gone..her music will continued 4ever…her Last Dance will not go unnoticed. Beep, Beep, Beep..beep beep

"Smitty"

May 17th, 2012
12:11 pm

Wow! I “loved to love her baby”…..a talented sister! so sad to hear…..

Frankie

May 17th, 2012
12:12 pm

The music world is loosing legend after legend….I see a few singers/musicians that may be able to sustain the legend status in 10 -20 years but not many…
Mary J., mary mary, john legend, hesitantly written- R. kelly, to name a few. but i am sure there a re a few more but not many….

RLP

May 17th, 2012
12:12 pm

My prayers go out to her family, friends and fans. She will be missed.

Bye

May 17th, 2012
12:13 pm

So glad I got to see her before she passed. She was and will remain a class act and one of the best things to ever come out of the 70’s. And that is saying a lot.

purpleone

May 17th, 2012
12:13 pm

Goodness Gracious! First the God Father of Go-Go on yesterday and Now the Disco Queen? RIP Chuck Brown and Donna Summer. Wow, wow, wow. Too much with Whitney passing as well; still in shock.

Mya

May 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

For all the good memories that Donna Summer’s name evoke – Thank YOU!

To those of us that are carrying a heavy heart today – Peace & Comfort

For the good times . . .

jake's mom

May 17th, 2012
12:21 pm

SOOO sorry to hear this. Danced to her music, and exercised to it to. She will be missed. Thanks you so much sassy lady

blackprix

May 17th, 2012
12:22 pm

Wow… she had one heck of a voice and from all I’ve read about, was an exceptional person!!!

To her family and friends my deepest sympathy … RIP Disco Lady!!!!

Ouch

May 17th, 2012
12:22 pm

Damn we’re all getting old.

Goosenco

May 17th, 2012
12:23 pm

You all dont get it…Dick Clark is starting Heaven Bandstand. Where else can he get the talent needed. Guess Justin and Taylor will be here FOREVER!!

G

May 17th, 2012
12:23 pm

Man, this is sad news. I had the biggest crush on her when I was a kid. First Chuck Brown and now this.

CLEMSONDUDE

May 17th, 2012
12:32 pm

I had no idea she had cancer…WOW. I am.lost for words. Another music great died way too soon. I never been a huge big disco fan but she really had some great hits…RIP Donna. ;-(

Robin

May 17th, 2012
12:33 pm

I loved Donna Summer. So sad.

Alek

May 17th, 2012
12:33 pm

I like to think that somewhere up there Donna and Whitney are doing a kicka@@ duet! Muchly missed!

JoD

May 17th, 2012
12:34 pm

Rest in Peace, Disco Lady…Dick Clark must be telling GOD who he wants to see perform. huh?

Justin

May 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

We have lost a true legend. RIP Donna!

Bobby

May 17th, 2012
12:37 pm

One of my favorite singers from the disco era. I’ll have to play some of her songs when I get home tonight. Rest in Peace.

Joy Lytch

May 17th, 2012
12:39 pm

There’s a party going on in heaven today. With the passing of Chuck Brown and just heard that Donna Summer has this earth, I’ve got my “Go-Go” and “Disco” on lock today. Rest in Peace to 2 Legends!

iggy

May 17th, 2012
12:40 pm

I guess she finally got to dance that last dance!

Jan

May 17th, 2012
12:41 pm

So sad! Way too young to leave this earth. She was such a talented lady. Glad I was able to see her in concert at the Southern Living Convention here in Atlanta about 5 years or so ago.

Rick James

May 17th, 2012
12:42 pm

Rest in peace Donna and thanks for the memories..

godoggo

May 17th, 2012
12:47 pm

: ( ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: So so Sad – I saw her in Concert several times……Disco balls surely will be at half mast as stated above : (

weena

May 17th, 2012
12:53 pm

Im going to the club tonight and dance. Best way I know to honor hr legend.

Justin

May 17th, 2012
12:54 pm

@ iggy

May 17th, 2012
12:46 pm

“I like to think that somewhere up there Donna and Whitney are doing a kicka@@ duet! Muchly missed”

I dont think so. Summer has more class in her analSphincter than Whitner had her entire lifetime.
Ms Summer will not be doing any duets with Whitner.

I was just reading through the list to see who would be the first @sshole to make ignorant comments in regard to someone’s death. Iggy you are the winner!

Justin

May 17th, 2012
12:57 pm

@ iggy

WOW and you are classy too. Go figure!

zj

May 17th, 2012
12:59 pm

We will miss you dearly. RIP.