Donna Summer dead at 63: Sang Best Original Song Oscar winner ‘Last Dance’
Singer Donna Summer, who died of cancer at age 63 earlier today, was featured in only one movie: Robert Klane’s Thank God It’s Friday. The unpretentious 1978 disco comedy musical is chiefly notable for the Paul Jabara-written song “Last Dance” – one of Summer’s biggest hits – which earned the Best Original Song Academy Award.
Donna Summer songs, however, have been featured in a number of movies, ranging from Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle to Ron Howard’s Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon. Among Summer’s best-known songs are “MacArthur’s Park,” “On the Radio,” “She Works Hard for the Money,” and “Bad Girls.” The lesser known “Down Deep Inside,” which Summer co-wrote with John Barry, was a Golden Globe nominee in 1977, as it was featured in Peter Yates’ box office hit The Deep.
Donna Summer’s stardom faded in the ’80s, following the demise of the disco vogue and reports that the born-again Christian claimed that AIDS was God’s punishment against gays for their immoral acts. (Summer later asserted she never made such remarks.)
More recently, Summer sang at Oslo’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in honor of U.S. President Barack Obama.