May 17th, 2012
12:43 PM ET
Donna Summer may be gone, but the music she created is timeless, having not only defined an era but also serving as an influence for musicians who followed.
Hailed as the Queen of Disco, Summer's phenomenal success provided us with a seemingly endless supply of anthems: "She Works Hard for the Money"; "Hot Stuff"; "Love to Love You Baby"; and "Last Dance" all could easily find themselves in rotation today. Without a doubt, that enduring latter single will be heard around the world today in honor of her memory.
Her family told CNN in a statement that they lost the icon early Thursday morning. Summer was "[a] woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith. While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."
The singer's passing Thursday at 63 hit the industry hard, and we'd guess Questlove of the Roots isn't the only one surprised to find that the woman he'd just been listening to is now gone. He tweeted Thursday, "Donna Summer. Man I can't believe this- like "My Baby Understands" was on my workout playlist this morning! This MORNING! God...I just..."
Actress and media personality Niecy Nash commented on the incredible loss the music industry has seen of late, writing, "Whitney. Tina Marie. Vesta. Now Donna Summer. The choir in heaven has a new member. They will be singing up a beautiful storm."
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton posted:
"Dancing with the Stars'" Brooke Burke-Charvet tweeted in response, "I'm sad, Donna Summer is my all time Fav Bad Girl! Love & prayers 4 her family."
Many other famous fans from across the entertainment spectrum also chimed in Thursday to remember Summer's impact, share their condolences and reflect on the legacy she'll leave behind:
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