Photos: Donna Summer and the Days of Disco

"The Queen of Disco" lives on through the songs, videos, and people inspired by her. Take a look back at Donna Summer's life in photos.

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LOS ANGELES - MAY 16: Singer Donna Summer poses for an album cover session on May 16, 1978 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
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Donna Summer, "The Queen of Disco," lives on through the songs, videos, and people who were inspired by her. See her life through the years, from growing up singing gospel music in the church to becoming a disco sensation by capturing the era with such hits as “Love to Love You Baby,” “Last Dance,” and “Bad Girls.”
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Summer grew up in Boston where she proved her vocal talent early on while singing in her church. She was one of seven children, raised in a strict Christian family. Before moving into the sexually charged world of disco, she sang in a psychedelic rock band.
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She became a superstar in the 1970s with hits like “Love to Love You Baby,” “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff”and “Bad Girls.”
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EMPTY_CAPTION"Love to Love You Baby" was released in 1975. Although there was controversy that the song was too sexy for radio, it became a hit in the discotheques.
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Here Donna Summer gets a lift from body builder, future movie star and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger at her home in April 1977 in Los Angeles.
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Summer appeared in the 1978 film, "Thank God It's Friday," which won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Last Dance."
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Her popularity continued into the 1980s when she released hit singles like “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”
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In addition to three multi-platinum albums, Summer has garnered five Grammys and six American Music Awards.
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Here she poses with singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. of the R&B vocal group "5th Dimension" at the Billboard Number 1 Music Awards circa 1980.
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But it wasn't all good times for Summer, who battled depression and even contemplated suicide, as she revealed in her 2003 memoir "Ordinary Girl: The Journal."
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Donna Summer and Cher stand together during the 1978 Disco Convention Banquet at New York Hilton Hotel.
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Singer Donna Summer appears on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson in 1979.
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Disco's popularity peaked in the late 1970s. Although the genre was initially a reaction against the domination of rock music, the rise of punk in the late 70s spawned an anti-disco, "disco sucks" movement.
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San Francisco punk band the Dead Kennedys represented this wave of anti-disco sentiment with their early-'80s song "Saturday Night Holocaust" which is said to compare the drug-filled "Saturday Night Fever" disco scene to cabaret culture in Nazi Germany.
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Here Summer performs onstage with her second husband Bruce Sudano of the vocal group "Brooklyn Dreams" on February 20, 1979 in Los Angeles. Summer had one daughter with her first husband, actor Helmuth Summer, and two more after she married Sudano.
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Donna Summer and daughter Mimi are spotted in Los Angeles in 1979.
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Summer wasn't just a disco diva embraced by gay culture but also a sex symbol known for her sultry songs and sensual purrs. In the '80s, after a divorce and second marriage, she became a born-again Christian and the subject of controversy for her comments against homosexuality.
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EMPTY_CAPTION"Her records sound as good today as they ever did," Sir Elton John said in a statement after Summer's death. "That she has never been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace ... She is a great friend to me and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly."
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Donna Summer attends the 25th Annual Grammy Awards in 1983 in Los Angeles.
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Donna Summer performs on the VH1Diva's 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross at Madison Square Garden in 2000.
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In 2008, Summer released "Crayons," which would be her last album. That year she also performed on the season finale of "American Idol."
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Donna Summer performs at the conclusion of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway in honor of President Obama.
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