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Home » Entertainments » Showbiz

Tributes for 'disco queen' Summer

Tributes have been paid to disco star Donna Summer who has died aged 63.

The singer, best known for hits such as I Feel Love and Love To Love You Baby, is understood to have been fighting lung cancer.

She believed she contracted the illness after inhaling toxic particles released after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, according to reports.

The website TMZ claimed the singer tried to keep the extent of her illness hidden but told friends of her fears and linked her cancer to the 2001 atrocity.

Her family hailed the singer as "a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith". They added: "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."

Summer, who was born LaDonna Gaines in Boston, US, learned to sing in church before fronting a series of bands and appearing in musicals.

Working as a session singer brought her into contact with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, and together they established her as one of the biggest acts of the 1970s.

The extended 16-minute version of Love To Love You Baby was a huge hit in clubs, but was banned from several radio stations because of her suggestive vocal style.

Legendary producer Quincy Jones paid tribute on Twitter, writing: "Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade."

Kylie Minogue described her as "one of my earliest musical inspirations". Record producer Pete Waterman, who worked with Summer in the 1980s, said his abiding memory was of "a lovely person".

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