Miami – Singer Donna Summer, known as the "Queen of Disco," died Thursday, her family said. She was 63.
"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," the family said in a statement.
Although many media outlets said that she succumbed to breast cancer, Web site TMZ, which was the first to report the news of her death, said that Summer was suffering from lung cancer she contracted from inhaling toxic particles after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York.
The five-time Grammy winner had tried to keep her illness private and was continuing her work on a new album, according to what a person close to the artist told TMZ.
Summer, known for hits such as "Last Dance," "Bad Girls" and "Love to Love You Baby," was married to singer and producer Bruce Sudano, with whom she had two daughters.
She also had another daughter from her first marriage with Helmuth Sommer, as well as a total of four grandchildren.
"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," the singer's family said.
Summer was born in Boston and TMZ said that she died in Florida, although no details have emerged regarding the exact location of her death.
After a 17-year hiatus, in 2008 she released her last album - "Crayons" - a work that, she explained at the time in an interview with Efe, she made "in the best way I knew how: with my heart."
The prolific singer, who over more than three decades sold more than 130 million records, began promoting her latest album with a tour that took her to various U.S. cities, as well as to Chile and Brazil. EFE
BER801 - Berlin - File photograph dated July 30, 2009, of U.S. singer Donna Summer during a concert in Berlin. Summer died on Thursday, May 17, 2012, in Florida at age 63, her death allegedly coming after a battle with breast cancer. EFE/Soeren Stache