RIP, Donna Summer

Disco legend Donna Summer has passed at the age of 63 following a battle with cancer. TMZ reports that Summer was in Florida at the time of her death.

She received opera training before she exploded onto dance floors around the world in the early '70s, and her voice is among sizzling best to groove to ever since. Noted for her number one hits "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" (with Barbra Streisand) to the casual listener, Summer's reach went far beyond disco.

Her songs -- many created with producer Giorgio Moroder -- continue to be sampled by numerous artists, including a well-known local one.

Summer's big introduction to the U.S. audiences came in 1975 courtesy of "Love to Love You Baby," a decidedly suggestive number, written with Moroder, with the potential to push a dancing couple to quite an ecstatic tangle. This song eventually climbed to number two on the U.S. charts, and, if you need a refresher, here it is.

In the clip, Summer is every bit the embodiment of the liberated times, and clearly had a big role in freeing up expanded personas for future female performers. Beyonce liked it enough to include it in the chorus of "Naughty Girl."

The also-departed Eyedea and DJ Abilities also enjoyed Moroder and Pete Bellotte's funky backing for the song enough that it became the basis for "Big Shots."

Summing up Summer with one song is impossible, however. What we'll remember for in the long run is that her work ethic was one of the strongest around. We'll miss you, Donna!

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