Tribute: Donna Summer will live on
I don't remember a time without Donna Summer.
The disco queen, who died Thursday in Florida after a long battle with lung cancer, provided a body-quaking, soul-stirring soundtrack throughout my life. (TMZ says Summer thought she contracted cancer by inhaling toxic particles in New York after the 9/11 attacks.) Mirrorballs will forever shine a little less brightly. She was 63.
My dad used to spin her records between Tejano hits and rock classics. I can still see the "Bad Girls" cover in my head - those tight curls, that black negligee and her bedroom eyes. And I remember singing along, at the top of my lungs, to "Hot Stuff" and "She Works Hard for the Money."
Her late-'80s comeback recaptured my attention, thanks to high-energy Stock Aitken Waterman tunes "This Time I Know It's for Real," "I Don't Wanna Get Hurt" and "Love's About to Change My Heart." Those songs took Summer beyond disco and into mainstream dance-pop, anchored by her majestic, emotive voice.