The disco superstar passed away after a battle with lung cancer, according to reports.
"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," her family said in a statement.
"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."
A multi-award winning artist famed for her work with producer Giorgio Moroder, Summer was best known for her disco hits 'I Feel Love', 'Hot Stuff', 'Last Dance' and 'Bad Girls'.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on New Year's Eve in 1948, Summer was one of seven children.
She received five Grammy awards, the first in 1979 for 'Best R&B Vocal Performance (Female)' for 'Last Dance', and the last in 1998 for 'Best Dance Recording' for 'Carry On'.
Summer had a Top 40 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 every single year from 1976 to 1984.
> Donna Summer 1948-2012: Five of her best hits - videos
> Donna Summer 1948-2012: Reaction and tributes
Watch Donna Summer perform 'I Feel Love' below:
Photo gallery - Donna Summer's career in pictures: