Contributed by Marie C.
On 17th May 2012, Donna Summer died of non-smoker related lung cancer.
When I learned of her death, I was surprised. It was like hearing of the death of a longtime friend who I had lost touch with. The last time I remember seeing her was in an interview where she talked about her career as a fine artist. Apparently this was a childhood passion and something she picked up as her music career was on the wane. Other than that, I had lost track of her. However, the news of her death triggered nostalgic thoughts of my early adult years. I ran through some of her music in my mind and then, the sweetest, most loving, wonderful memory emerged—the time I lost my virginity to the man who would later become my husband. Even though my husband has been long gone from my life, I will always have that memory of young love and the track that brought it all to the forefront was … Love To Love You Baby! The rhythmic, pulsating melody, sung by Miss Summer in her haunting, lustful tone was playing in the background as I had my first sexual encounter. So, in many ways, Donna Summer was there at one of my rites of passage … my passage into adulthood so to speak.
While that song is the one that means the most to me, who can forget her other hits such as Bad Girl, She Works Hard For the Money, I Feel Love, Enough is Enough, and more. There is no doubt that Donna Summer was the Queen of Disco and, in her death, there will be new life breathed into her music.
Unlike Whitney Houston, whose music was the soundtrack of my life in an external way, Donna Summer’s music has more personal meaning to me. In fact, just listening to Miss Summer’s music as I have done in the past week since her death brings to mind my first “real” love, disco balls and crowded dance floors.
The last I had seen or heard of Miss Summer was in connection with her art but, to me, she will always be the Queen of Disco. Cancer may have claimed her life but she will live on through her music and the milestones it symbolized in the lives of many like myself who were impacted by her shining star!
Donna Summer, dead at the age of 63; may you rest in peace!