LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 May 17, 2012), known by the stage name Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the United States Billboard chart, and she also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Born into a devoutly Christian middle class African American family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she spent several years living in West Germany, where she married Helmut Sommer, whose surname she adopted as her stage name.
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