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Disco queen Donna Summer dead at 63


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News has just broke that disco queen — and Dorchester native — Donna Summer lost her battle with cancer this morning. The original “Bad Girl” was 63.

Right now details are scarce but some reports say she was in Florida at the time of her death.

Summer was born in Dec. 31, 1948 in Dorchester and sang in local churches before going on to become disco’s biggest star. She was a 5-time Grammy winner who ruled the late ’70s with blockbuster hits such as “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “MacArthur Park” and “Bad Girls.”

A perennial Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee, Summer was snubbed over and over again — along with fellow locals the J. Geils Band, the Cars and Boston.

Summer had the ultimate disco voice. It was thinner than those classic ’60s soul voices, but it was more glamorous. It had the perfect balance of power and cool breathy coo.

Her signiture song “Bad Girls” is an encyclopedia of disco. It starts with textbook funk guitar, then come the staccato horns, then the whistle, then the cry of “Toot! Toot! Beep! Beep!” with a sexy whisper underneath it all. It’s also got a faint hint of new wave to it — a few tweaks and it could fit on a Talking Heads record.

Later in life Summer was eclipsed by younger stars who learned from her — Madonna, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson. But she never stopped being a presence on dance floors throughout the world. From a discotheque in Europe to a suburban South Shore wedding, Summer’s hot stuff has always been there. And it always will be.

:view: www.bostonherald.com

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