"… dim all the lights, sweet darling …"
At one point, Donna Summer was among the brightest of stars in music, a transcendent disco dancing queen illuminating the airwaves, television and even movie screens. When the sound walked the line between funk and the technologically-tinged dance that the next decade, the woman formerly known as LaDonna Adrian Gaines was there, spinning, glimmering and wonderful as the Queen of Disco.
"Bad Girls," "Love To Love You Baby," "On The Radio," "Hot Stuff," "MacArthur Park," "She Works Hard For The Money" and of course her biggest anthemic hit, "Last Dance" — through her string of hits, she became an icon who crossed over into pop consciousness where other artists may not have persevered, winning five Grammy Awards, three consecutive double albums at number one on the Billboard charts and four number one singles in the US in a thirteen month period.
Fresh out of high school, she was cast by soul legend Melba Moore in a tour of Hair, moving to Munich, learning German and performing in Godspell, Show Boat and more, leading to singing in Austria's Vienna Folk Opera. She kept her hand in for popular music, singing background for Three Dog Night before her own storied solo career began. Not bad for a sister from Boston's Dorchester area.
She passed away this morning after a lengthy fight with lung cancer, survived by husband Bruce Sudano, daughters Brooklyn, Mimi and Amanda and four grandchildren. In the words of our ancestors, anedge hirak Donna Summer, and thank you.