Like the King of Pop or the Queen of Soul, Donna Summer was bestowed a title fitting of musical royalty - the Queen of Disco.
Yet unlike Michael Jackson or Aretha Franklin, it was a designation she wasn't comfortable embracing.
"I grew up on rock 'n' roll," Summer once said when explaining her reluctance to claim the title.
But the music world has been vocal in mourning the loss of one of its royalty this week. Since news of Summer's death from cancer in Naples, Fla., broke Thursday, musicians and fans have been speaking out about a colleague and friend.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Summer was diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago. She kept her illness quiet, only telling her husband and children, reports ET.
Luminaries from Aretha Franklin to Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand mourned the loss. Here's what they had to say about the late singer-songwriter:
- "Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Donna truly was the 'Queen of Disco.' Her voice was unforgettable, and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna's family and her dedicated fans." - President Barack Obama
- "So shocking to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. In the 70s, she reigned over the disco era and kept the disco jumping. Who will forget `Last Dance.' A fine performer and a very nice person." - Aretha Franklin
- "I was shocked to hear about Donna. She was so vital the last time I saw her a few months ago. I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. It's so sad." - Barbra Streisand
- "We will miss Donna Summer! She changed the world of music with her beautiful voice and incredible talent." - Janet Jackson
- "When you lose a friend you feel like they are gone forever. That is not true with my dear friend Donna. She was a queen, THE Queen of Disco, and we will be dancing to her music forever." - Liza Minnelli
- "I can't believe we've lost another wonderful singer. Donna, like Whitney, had one of the greatest voices ever. I loved her records. She was the disco queen, and will remain so. I knew her and found her to be one of the most likable and fun people ever. She will be missed and remembered." - Dolly Parton
- "Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted. She is a great friend to me and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly." - Elton John
- "She not only made her mark in my heart as well as others, but she forever changed the way of how America danced and enjoyed themselves. She may have had her 'Last Dance' here on earth, but 'Heaven Knows' it is dancing with joy for her arrival."- Gloria Gaynor
- "Donna and I had a friendship for over 30 years. She is one of the few black women I could speak German with and she is one of the few friends I had in this business." - Chaka Khan