Kal Korff

Donna Summer: The Queen of Her Time
by Kal K. Korff
Internationally Syndicated Copyright © 2012 by Kal K. Korff - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Donna Summer, real name LaDonna Adrian Gaines, was a legendary siren with an incredible voice who dominated the disco and club music scenes for nearly two decades. She passed away from lung cancer at the age of 63. Summerʼs death shocked many in the media, especially her fans, who had no idea that the singer was terminally ill. Summer lived in New York, and kept her health condition mostly out of the public eye and largely unknown. Cause of Death It is ironic that a great talent like Summer, whose incredibly powerful voice easily ranks up there with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, should die from lung cancer. Without good lungs, no person can sing, especially the way that Summer did. Summer was exposed to the ashen debris and fallout from the terrorist attacks of “9/11” when the two World Trade Center (WTC) towers collapsed. After she learned that she had unexpectedly contracted lung cancer, despite not being a smoker, she suspected (as did many) that exposure to the toxic materials which were produced when the two skyscrapers collapsed had caused her condition. Summer was not the only person to suffer severe health problems in the aftermath of the destruction of the WTC towers. Statistics prove that in the nearby surrounding areas, a 200% increase in immediate respiratory illnesses took place, jumping to as high as a 400% increase during the subsequent 5-9 years. Common Roots Donna Summerʼs death comes just a few months after decadent pop diva Whitney Houston drowned in her bathtub in Las Vegas from a drug overdose.


Like Whitney Houston, Summer honed her incredible singing voice while performing as a young girl in the local church choir, making her debut at the young age of 10. She never abandoned her gospel roots, and despite worldwide mega success remained humble and never let fame go to her head. Summer had her first smash hit after she signed with Casablanca Records and released the song Love to Love You Baby. It was sung in a distinctly sexual, sultry way, it made her an “overnight” sensation. Building on her success, a slew of hits followed over the next few years: the synthesizer driven disco hit I Feel Love, The Last Dance, Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, and of course MacArthurʼs Park, an explosive song which would be a challenge for even Houston or Carey to perform the way that she did. Despite enormous success, to her credit Summer refused to fall for the decadent Hollywood celebrity scene. As she faded from the music world, performing only selective gigs to targeted audiences instead of before huge numbers of people in large stadiums, the world never forgot her. She remained a symbol of fame managed right, not wrong. Summers was married to actor Helmuth Sommer, who was from Austria. While their interracial marriage was controversial at the time, especially after they had a child together, today it would not even command a headline. Donna Summer was “the real deal,” she was an incredibly generous and humble person who rose to the top of the world. Her last hit in 2010, To Paris With Love, reached number #1. While lung cancer struck her down, she went out as a true champion, forever. END 1.0v1 May 19, 2012 Kal K. Korff is an officially accredited internationally known author, columnist and investigative journalist.

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