Donna Summer Was Deeply Affected by 9-11 Attacks
Disco queen Donna Summer was obsessed with the 9-11 attacks and believed that the toxic dust from the collapsing twin towers caused the fatal lung cancer that took her life.
Summer was living on the west side of Manhattan when the towers came down. She was in her apartment and could smell the choking dust clouds that filled the streets.
Nobody will ever forget what it was like when day suddenly turned to night and people on the streets were frantically running for cover. Huddled in her home, Donna Summer was petrified.
"I couldn't go out. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I had to keep the blinds down and stay in my bedroom," she said at the time.
Summer reportedly sprayed disinfectant in her apartment, and even hung silk sheets to keep dust from seeping in.
She spoke of her lingering 9-11 fears on the Today show in 2008, saying, "I was depressed for two years. It was really difficult. Even when I see anything about 9-11, I feel that feeling."
But the sultry singer's fervent faith helped her get through it.
"I went to church and light came back into my soul," she said. "That heaviness was gone."
CNN medical expert Dr. Sanja Gupta told Piers Morgan he doubts that Summer's cancer was caused by 9-11.
"I think if you look at the data overall, I think most people would say it's unlikely that 9-11 had anything to do with Donna Summer's lung cancer," said Gupta.
Summer's sudden death shocked everyone. At a benefit for the Women's Forum of New York, Katie Couric and Gayle King remembered her fondly.
Couric said, "I think people forget how extraordinarily talented she was, and of course, I grew up listening to her music."
King said, "It was just really sad to hear. It made you go back in your mind, and think of all the Donna Summer songs that you know, all the songs that you used to dance to."
Summer's onetime publicist, Michael Levine, will always remember her spiritual side.
"Beyond her music, her great passion was God's spirituality and religion. It is yet another reminder that life is short, and life is unpredictable...like the 9-11 attacks," said Levine.
Donna Summer is gone, but her music will live forever.