Disco diva Donna Summer has lost her lung cancer battle at the age of 63.
The I Feel Love hitmaker passed away in Florida on Thursday (17May12).
A statement released by her family reads: "Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, 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."
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, the singer pursued her love of music as a child in her local church in Boston, Massachusetts, but it wasn't until she graduated from high school that she realised her showbusiness dream and landed a role in a German production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.
During her months-long stint onstage in Munich, Summer learned to speak fluent German and subsequently chose to remain in the city, where she appeared in a string of other musicals while working as a studio back-up singer, and recorded her own demo tapes.
She rose to fame in Europe with the 1974 release of her debut solo album Lady of the Night and scored a hit with The Hostage. The following year she really captured the attention of music fans worldwide with her disco classic Love to Love You Baby.
The single became a chart smash overnight and Summer firmly established herself as a disco queen with the subsequent releases of I Feel Love, Bad Girls, and Hot Stuff.
The star suffered a drop in popularity in the mid-1980s when the born-again Christian was accused of making anti-gay remarks about Aids, allegedly claiming the disease was a punishment from God for the sins of homosexuals. She denied making the comments and claimed it had been "a terrible misunderstanding".
She managed to bounce back from the controversy and continued to experience regular chart success throughout her 40-year career. Her last single, To Paris with Love, topped the U.S. dance chart in 2010.
Summer scooped five Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Vocal Performance for Last Dance in 1979, Best Rock Vocal Performance for Hot Stuff in 1980 and Bet Dance Recording for Carry On in 1998.
Her track Last Dance also scored her an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and Summer just missed out on the chance to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2012 - she was on the final shortlist before the inductees were confirmed.
Summer suffered from depression and anxiety during the 1970s and previously confessed to attempting suicide as a result of her personal issues, but few fans knew of her cancer battle.
Summer was married twice - first to actor Helmuth Sommer and then to Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano. She has three daughters.
No further details about her death were available as WENN went to press.