This Day in Black History: Dec. 31, 1948

Donna Summer was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Posted: 12/31/2013 09:00 AM EST

If you love to dance, then your playlist can’t go on without at least one hit from the “Queen of Disco” and Studio 54 performer Donna Summer. Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on Dec. 31, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She began singing as a young girl and made her debut in a performance with her church when she was just 10 years old.

Summer took her church upbringing straight to the Big Apple, moving to New York City in 1967 after she graduated high school.  She began singing with the rock band Crow, getting her first taste of the music industry. While in New York, she auditioned for and was cast in a production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, which was scheduled to run in Munich, Germany. Summer got the part and moved to Munich where she met her husband, German singer Helmuth Sommer.

Summer wrote numerous hits starting with “Love to Love You Baby” in 1975, followed by other hits, such as "I Feel Love," "Last Dance," "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "Dim All the Lights," "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" and "On the Radio.”

In 2009, Summer performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, in honor of President Barack Obama. Summer died on May 17, 2012, following a battle with cancer.

Follow Dominique Zonyéé on Twitter: @DominiqueZonyee.

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(Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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