Disco star Donna Summer has died aged 63, her publicist said.
A statement issued on behalf of her family hailed the singer, best known for hits including 'I Feel Love', as “a woman of many gifts”.
It is believed she had been battling cancer.
The full statement read: ``Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith.
“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.”
Summer's publicist Brian Edwards said the family wanted donations to be made in her honour to the Salvation Army in lieu of flowers.
Summer, who was born Donna Gaines in Boston, US, learned to sing in church before fronting a series of bands and appearing in musicals.
Working as a session singer brought her into contact with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and together they established her as one of the biggest acts of the 1970s.
The extended 16-minute version of Love To Love You Baby was a huge hit in the clubs, but was banned from several radio stations because of her suggestive vocal style.
Record producer Pete Waterman, who worked with Summer in the 1980s, said his abiding memory was of ``a lovely person''.
He said: “Whenever you were with her she made you feel so special. She had all the talent but she gave you all the credit. She was not a diva in any shape or form.”
The singer teamed up with Stock Aitken Waterman in the late 1980s when her reputation had taken a battering and she had alienated many fans with alleged anti-gay remarks.
Waterman said: “She was in the wilderness when we had the biggest record of our careers together.
“They warned us against working with her because of the whole anti-gay thing that had happened.
“But what a voice she had. She used to warm up in the ladies toilet and everyone in our building would stop and it would come to a standstill to hear her warm up.”
Summer gained her stage name after she married Austrian actor Helmut Sommer, although she later remarried.
'Love To Love You Baby' made her a star back in the United States and she found even greater success in 1977 with 'I Feel Love', which again featured the hypnotic electronic disco beats of the pioneering Moroder.
The song proved to be hugely influential and probably her best known performance, and along with German synth band Kraftwerk, inspired a generation of electronic musicians.