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Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63

May 18, 2012 - 10:00 By 문예빈
In this May 21, 2008 file photo, Donna Summer performs during the finale of "American Idol" at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)

Disco queen Donna Summer, whose pulsing anthems such as “Last Dance,” ‘'Love to Love You Baby” and “Bad Girls” became the soundtrack for a glittery age of sex, drugs, dance and flashy clothes, has died. She was 63.

Her family released a statement, saying Summer died Thursday morning and that they “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,” the statement read.

Summer had been living in Englewood, Florida, with her husband Bruce Sudano.

Summer came to prominence just as disco was burgeoning, and came to define the era with a string of No. 1 hits and her beauty queen looks.

But unlike some other stars of disco who faded as the music became less popular, she was able to grow beyond it and later segued to a pop-rock sound. She had one of her biggest hits in the 1980s with “She Works Hard For The Money,” which became another anthem, this time for women's rights.

Soon after, Summer became a born-again Christian and faced controversy when she was accused of making anti-gay comments in relation to the AIDS epidemic. Summer denied making the comments, but was the target of a boycott.

Still, even as disco went out of fashion she remained a fixture in dance clubs, endlessly sampled and remixed into contemporary dance hits.

Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, Summer was raised in Boston on gospel music.

“Love to Love You Baby” was her U.S. chart debut and the first of 19 No. 1 dance hits between 1975 and 2008 _ second only to Madonna.

During the disco era she burned up the charts: She was the only artist to have three consecutive double-LPs hit No. 1, “Live and More,” ‘'Bad Girls” and “On the Radio.” She was also the first female artist with four No. 1 singles in a 13-month period, according to the Rock Hall of Fame, where she was a nominee this year.

Her genre-defying sound helped her earn Grammy Awards in the dance, rock, R&B and inspirational categories.

She released a number of albums that have reach gold or platinum status, including the multiplatinum “Bad Girls” and “On the Radio, Volume I & II.”

She had a number of top 10 Billboard hits, including “Hot Stuff,” ‘'She Works Hard for the Money” and “MacArthur Park.”

She released her last album, “Crayons,” in 2008. It was her first full studio album in 17 years. She also performed on “American Idol” that year with its top female contestants. (AP)

<관련 한글 기사>

 ‘디스코 여왕' 도나 썸머 사망 원인은?

가수 도나 썸머 63세에 사망

한국의 중장년층에도 익숙한 '디스코의 여왕'인 미국 가수 도나 썸머가 17일 암 투병 끝에 숨졌다. 향년 63세.

지난 1970∼1980년대 디스코 음악계를 주름잡았던 그는 요양지인 플로리다 주 잉글우드에서 사망했다고 가족들이 발표했다.

 유명 인사들의 동향을 전문적으로 다루는 웹사이트 티엠지(TMZ)닷컴은 소식통의 말을 빌려 썸머의 사인이 폐암이라고 보도했다.

썸머는 사망 전까지 지난 2001년 9•11 사태 이후 발생한 독소를 흡입해 암에 걸렸다는 생각을 버리지 않았다고 TMZ는 전했다.

북부 보스턴의 독실한 기독교 가정에서 태어난 서머는 1970년대 ‘나쁜 여자'#Bad Girls#, ‘라디오 방송'(On the Radio) 등으로 일약 스타덤에 올랐다.

이어 1980년대 들어서도 ‘돈 때문에' (She Works Hard for the Money), ‘핫 스터프'(Hot Stuff), ‘맥아더 공원'(MacArthur Park), ‘사랑을 느껴요'(I Feel Love), ‘마지막 춤'(Last Dance) 등 히트곡을 잇달아 내면서 명성을 유지했다.

전미(全美)레코드예술과학아케데미가 1년간의 우수 레코드와 앨범을 선정해 수여하는 권위 있는 그래미상을 다섯 차례나 수상하기도 했다.

유명세 못지않게 구설도 겪었다. 에이즈가 남성 동성애자 문제와 관계가 있다는 자극성 언을 했다는 소문이 나돌면서 동성애자들 사이에 한때 금기 인물로 지목되기도 했다. 썸머는 물론 이런 소문을 부인했지만, 이를 둘러싸고 한동안 어려움을 겪었다.

작곡가이기도 한 서머의 마지막 앨범으로는 지난 2008년 낸 ‘크레용'(Crayons)이 있다. 지난 1980년 같은 가수인 브루스 수다노와 결혼한 그는 슬하에 두 딸을 뒀다.

한편 버락 오바마 미국 대통령은 이날 애도 성명을 내고 “미셸과 나는 도나 서머의 사망 소식에 슬픔에 잠겼다”면서 “다섯 차례 그래미상을 받은 도나는 진정한 ‘디스코의 여왕'이며 음악계는 너무나 일찍 또 하나의 전설을 잃었다”고 밝혔다.