Disco icon Donna Summer has died at the age of 63 from cancer. Her passing caught most of the world by surprise, as she's been battling the disease in private, and was still working on new music.
While best known for her influential dance hits like I Feel Love, Love To Love You Baby, and Last Dance, her singing career started with the short-lived psych rock group Crow, the German production of Hair, and as a backup singer for groups like Three Dog Night. It was when working with that last act that she met producer Giorgio Moroder, who would craft the synthesizer-heavy Italo-disco sound that she would always be most associated with.
The epic 17 minute version of Love To Love You Baby was huge hit in not only underground gay clubs but also crossed over into the mainstream. The drum machines and robotic sequencer riffs of Moroder's production style ended up being a huge influence on what would become house and techno.
Once the mainstream world recovered from the vicious disco backlash of the late 70s, Summer's musical legacy was also rehabilitated, and she was recognized as one of the major icons of that era.
Summer would end up distancing herself from the song and from disco in general after battling with addiction and becoming a born-again Christian. However, later in life she came to terms with both her music from that era and her large gay following.