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Donna Summer dead at 63

Disco legend Donna Summer died Thursday at age 63, reportedly after a battle with cancer.

"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," the singer's family said in a statement. "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 was the first to report the singer's death, and the site reports that she was recording an album at the time of her death.

The Grammy-winning singer, nicknamed the Queen of Disco, had numerous hits in both the 1970s and 1980s, including "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Bad Girls."

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Her duet with Barbra Streisand, "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" was one of four Summer songs that topped the Billboard Top 100 charts.

"I was shocked to hear about Donna," Streisand said in a statement. "She was so vital the last time I saw her a few months ago. I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented."

Summer was the first female artist to chart with back-to-back multi-platinum double albums.

She appeared in the 1978 film, "Thank God It's Friday," which won the best original song Oscar for "Last Dance." Summer also appeared twice on the 1990s hit TV show "Family Matters," playing Steve Urkel's Aunt Oona from Altoona. In 2011, she was a guest judge on music reality show "Platinum Hit," and she performed with the female finalists on the 2008 "American Idol" finale.

Summer won five Grammy Awards and six American Music Awards, and charted three multi-platinum albums.

In 2009, she sang at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert honoring President Barack Obama in Oslo, Norway.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama said: "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." 

Musician Questlove of The Roots tweeted, "I know that the whole 'disco sucks' stuff left a bad taste in the mouths of some. But Summer's work was really a credible legacy."

Wrote 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."

Summer was also a formally trained painter. In 2010, she told Atlantic City Weekly that she sold her first painting for $38,000 and thought, "I may want to stop singing now." Summer estimated she had sold close to a million dollars worth of art.

She is survived by her husband, musician Bruce Sudano, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

What was your favorite Donna Summer song? Vote in our poll, and tell us on Facebook.

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