Music News

Reactions to the death of Donna Summer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Donna Summer, whose music dominated the 1970s disco era, died of cancer on Thursday at age 63, leaving a legacy of hit singles like “Love to Love You Baby,” “Last Dance” and “Bad Girls.”

Flowers are seen on the star of music recording artist Donna Summer on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California May 17, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Following are some reactions from celebrities and music industry professionals.

- “Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Donna truly was the ‘Queen of Disco.’ Her voice was unforgettable, and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna’s family and her dedicated fans.” - President Barack Obama, in a statement.

- “I am deeply saddened personally for the loss of my dear friend Donna Summer. She and I have been friends for a very long time, we were both known as the ‘Queen of Disco,’ but Donna always referred to me as the “First Lady of Disco.’ A fine lady and human being she was. She will be missed dearly by her colleagues, friends and family. She not only made her mark in my heart as well as others, but she forever changed the way ... America danced and enjoyed themselves. She may have had her ‘Last Dance’ here on earth, but ‘Heaven Knows’ it is “dancing with joy for her arrival.” - Gloria Gaynor in a statement.

- “She was so young and vibrant. Donna and I knew each other for a long time, we ran in the same circles and are part of the same generation, and it was something we shared ... creating and performing music. Her voice was smooth and comforting, and something I had always wanted to do was a world tour with her, you know, as the Queen and King of Disco. We are the freshman class in creating music that continues to this day to make people happy, and it has been embraced by every major artist in the industry. It makes you want to get up and dance and forget your troubles for awhile. We just saw each other several months ago - she was beautiful as ever and her voice as strong as when I met her and we had some great laughs and a stroll down memory lane.” - Harry Wayne “KC” Casey of KC & The Sunshine Band in a statement.

- “When you lose a friend you feel like they are gone forever ... that is not true with my dear friend Donna. She was a queen, THE Queen of disco, and we will be dancing to her music forever. My thoughts and prayers are with her family always.” Liza Minnelli in a statement.

- “I can’t believe we’ve lost another wonderful singer. Donna, like Whitney (Houston), had one of the greatest voices ever. I loved her records. She was the disco queen, and will remain so. I knew her and found her to be one of the most likable and fun people ever. She will be missed and remembered.” - Dolly Parton in a statement.

- “Five-time Grammy winner Donna Summer had a dynamic voice and unique musical style that helped define the dance music genre in the ‘70s. She also was an artist who crossed many musical genres, as evidenced by her Grammy wins in the R&B, rock, inspirational and dance categories. Her talent was a true gift to the music industry, and our thoughts and sympathies are with her family, friends and fans throughout the world during this difficult time.” - Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy on Facebook.

- “We will miss Donna Summer! She changed the world of music with her beautiful voice and incredible talent.” - Janet Jackson on Twitter.

- “I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. .. It’s so sad.” - Barbra Streisand on Twitter.

- “Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade.” - Quincy Jones on Twitter.

- “Rest in peace Donna. You are a pioneer and you have paved the way for so many of us. You transcended race and genre. Respect. Lenny.” - Lenny Kravitz on Twitter.

- “I’m so sad about the news that Donna Summer died this morning. I was a big fan. I even used one of her songs in my show that airs today.” - Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter.

- “One of my earliest musical inspirations, RIP Donna Summer.” Kylie Minogue on Twitter.

Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Cynthia Osterman