When I read the shocking news (on Facebook) that the Queen of Disco Donna Summer had died, my thoughts first went to the best scene in The Full Monty which featured “Hot Stuff” as the soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself the favour!
I also assumed, like so many celebrities who die too young, that she may have suffered from an overdose. Donna’s death, however, came at the hand of lung cancer, likely developed after she inhaled toxic dust particles in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center.
Donna Summer’s parents were devout Christians and she became a born-again Christian herself after releasing one of my favourite songs, She Works Hard for the Money. Donna wrote the anthem after an encounter with an elderly bathroom attendant at a Grammy Awards party.
Donna’s first public performace was at Church at the age of 8 after the pastor invited her to sing in front of the congregation. Summer surprised everyone, including herself, with the strength of her voice and she said she heard God say to her, “You’re going to be famous and this is power and you are never to misuse this power.”
When she died, Summer was living with her long-time husband whom she married back in the 80s and they had two daughters together.