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Donna Summer, Disco Queen Dead at 63
Donna Summer, the singer who came to be known as the "Queen of Disco"
during her 1970s heyday, died today after battling cancer, a family
member confirmed to ABC News. She was 63.
Summer was a five time Grammy award winner who was the first artist
to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the
U.S. Billboard chart. Her hits like “Last Dance,” “Bad Girls,” and “Love
to Love You Baby” made her a disco icon.
Born outside of Boston, Summer was raised by devout Christian parents
who introduced her to both gospel and classical music. In a 2008 interview with ABC News’ “Nightline,” Summer remembered her mom singing songs to her before going to bed each night.
“As long as the classical station was playing on the radio, I
wouldn’t cry,” she said. “If it was on for 20 hours, I would sleep for
20 hours. I would be calm. So I think that my mother probably helped my
sense of musicality just by doing that.”
Summer left home at age 18 to audition for the Broadway production of
“Hair” and got a role in the show when it moved to Germany. There, she
met producer Giorgio Moroder, who would launch her solo career. She went
on to produce hits like “Bad Girls,” “Last Dance,” and “She Works Hard
for the Money,” a song that was inspired by a washroom attendant.
“I was at a Grammys party … and I went to the ladies room and on my
way in I saw this little old lady sitting at the end of the bar. And she
was asleep,” Summer told “Nightline.” “She was the bathroom attendant.
And at that same moment, a group of ladies walked into the room and
started spraying their hair and doing all these things. And my first
thought was ‘God, she works hard for her money, that lady.’
“And then I thought, ‘man, that’s a song,’” she said. “So I went and
grabbed my manager and we went back into the bathroom and started
writing the song on a piece of toilet paper.”
Summer’s last album, “Crayons,” was released in 2008. In 2010, she told AllVoices.com that she was working on an album of disco standards.
Summer is survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, three children, and four grandchildren.Thursday, May 17 2012, 12:48 PM EDT
More Entertainment News
Last Update on April 17, 2014 07:11 GMT
AMY POEHLER AND WILL ARNETT DIVORCING
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- They've been separated for more than a year and a half. And now, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett will make their split a permanent one. Court records filed in Los Angeles show that Arnett has filed for his marriage to Poehler to be dissolved. Arnett filed a divorce petition on April 8, citing irreconcilable differences between the two comedians. He is seeking joint custody. The couple had been together for nine years -- and separated last September. Poehler stars in NBC's "Parks and Recreation" while Arnett stars in the CBS' series "The Millers."
ALICIA SILVERSTONE'S BOOK ON MOTHERING
NEW YORK (AP) -- She is a vegan who spent 10 days in bed, bonding with her baby -- and posted a video on YouTube showing her pre-chewing her food before feeding it to her baby. And if you want to know what other ideas Alicia Silverstone has for moms, she out with a book. She says the key to a happy baby is a happy mommy -- and she says "The Kind Mama" can help women have the same kind of "wonderful pregnancy" she has had. Silverstone says she has done research on raising babies -- wants to share what she has learned with others.
JENNY McCARTHY IS ENGAGED
NEW YORK (AP) -- Some people go on daytime talk shows to plug a book, movie or TV show. Jenny McCarthy was on "The View" yesterday to plug the fact that she's getting hitched. She showed off her rock, the gift of Donnie Wahlberg. She says Wahlberg proposed to her last weekend -- and that her son Evan, even helped with the proposal. It's the second marriage for both.
"AMERICAN IDOL" MAKES A WORDSMITH OF J-LO
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jena (JEE'-nah) Irene is so good on "American Idol" J-Lo had make up a word to describe her. J-Lo says she "Jena-fies" every song she does. The judges also had nothing by praise for Caleb Johnson, as the singers did selections picked by their competitors. But Harry Connick Junior says Jessica Meuse (MYOOS) needs to work on her rhythm. He says she should dance to some hip-hop in her hotel room. The judges weren't that into Sam Woolf, either. Connick says Sam is still a work in progress. Tonight, someone from the top seven will be sent home.
J-Lo says Caleb is a tough act for the other singers to follow. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (04/17/14)>> 00:21 ""
Jessica Meuse (MYOOS), performing "Gunpowder and Lead"
Jessica Meuse performing "Gunpowder and Lead." COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (04/17/14)>> 00:08 "that will help"
Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. says Jessica should try listening to some hip-hop in her hotel room to work on her rhythm. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (04/17/14)>> 00:29 ""
Jena (JEE'-nah) Irene, performing "Creep"
Jena Irene performing "Creep." COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..006 (04/17/14)>> 00:07 "was so beautiful (cheers)"
J-Lo says Jena puts her unique stamp on the songs she does. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
THE VIEW HOSTS TO GATHER TO BID BARBARA WALTRS FAREWELL
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It has never happened before. But it will next month. On the May 15 episode of "The View" all eleven past and present co-hosts will show up at once to salute Barbara Walters as she retires from daily TV. Among those to appear are Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Joy Behar. They'll join current co-hosts Walters, Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Whoopi Goldberg. Walters is 84 -- and says she is ready to move on.
"SURVIVOR"-LJ VOTED OFF
UNDATED (AP) -- Tasha has brains and a good memory -- which served her well on last night's "Survivor." She was an original member of the Brains tribe when the season started. Last night's Immunity Challenge had the castaways testing their memories by matching color tiles in the order host Jeff Probst had held them up. Tasha wins and was safe in the Tribal Council vote. Not so for LJ, a former member of the Beauty tribe. He was aced out in a blindside, after Tony the cop said he was bringing his bag of tricks to the council vote. LJ says there's a difficult balance between being patient and being assertive -- and he got it wrong.
LJ says he didn't play it right heading into the Tribal Council vote. COURTESY: CBS and Mark Burnett Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..009 (04/17/14)>> 00:14 ""
Excerpt of "Survivor: Cagayan" theme
Excerpt of "Survivor: Cagayan" theme. COURTESY: CBS and Mark Burnett Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
DeNIRO PRAISES NAS' DOCUMENTARY
NEW YORK (AP) -- One of the biggest names in movies is giving props to one of the biggest names in hip-hip. Robert DeNiro introduced the documentary Nas did about the making of his 1994 debut album, "The Illmatic." DeNiro said the movie was more about doing a film -- but "about the making of an artist" in New York City. Nas joked that DeNiro plays him in all his movies.
"A HAUNTED HOUSE 2" - MARLON WAYANS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- At heart, Marlon Wayans is a 15-year-old boy. Wayans says he tries to be mature but when you're 15, you don't worry about bills and you laugh at everything. He says he wants audiences to see his films like they're 15 years old and seeing their first R-rated movie and just have fun. Wayans appears in "A Haunted House 2" and he offers proof that's he's maturing. He says there's only one flatulence scene in it. "A Haunted House 2" opens tomorrow.
Marlon Wayans says he works out to be better in his movies.
<<CUT ..015 (04/17/14)>> 00:13 "your fun years"
Marlon Wayans, actor
Marlon Wayans says he'll never be known for high-brow comedy.
<<CUT ..016 (04/17/14)>> 00:15 "this is fun"
Marlon Wayans, actor
Marlon Wayans says he treats his approach to comedy like he's a teenager.
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