"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 picked up by MSNBC. "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."
We had tried to find out more about Summer's illness, and it did seem that her battle was kept under wraps. So much so that news outlets have conflicting reports. TMZ reports that Summer died of lung cancer, while MSNBC was reporting that she had died of breast cancer, but have since changed their report. TMZ also notes she was trying to finish up an album she was working on.
MSNBC reports that Summer is survived by her husband, three daughters, and four grandchildren.
As news outlets will remind you, or if you've ever experienced the waning minutes of any wedding reception, "Last Dance" was Summer's signature song (though your blogger can't get "MacArthur Park" or "Dim All the Lights" our of his head right now).
And here are some in the music community who have already voiced their sadness:
Always Always, Always loved DonnaSummer .....had a crush on her forever, R.I.P. lady— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) May 17, 2012
Donna Summer. Man I can't believe this--- like "My Baby Understands" was on my workout playlist this morning! This MORNING! God...I just...— Questo of The Roots (@questlove) May 17, 2012