The disco legend had seemingly kept secret her battle against cancer and was said to be working on a new album before she died.
Below are just some of the immediate responses to the sad news from musicians inspired by Summer and many more from the world of entertainment.
"For the last half hour or so I've been lying in my bed crying and stunned. Donna Summer RIP"
"Omg :( ...Seriously :( I'll allow the F Bomb on my timeline for this one ;( ... RIP Donna. F**k Cancer. #queenofdisco "
"Oh my goodness just heard the sad news about Donna Summer. A true diva and disco queen her music will keep people dancing forever xxx"
"Upon hearing this ['I Feel Love'] in 1976, Brian Eno told David Bowie that he had "heard the future". He had. RIP Donna Summer. :( "
"My heart and thoughts go out to the family of Donna Summer. MBB"
Armin van Buuren
"RIP Donna Summer Queen of Disco. You were a great inspiration. Still so young..."
"I remember sitting in the front seat of my mum's toyota while she sang Donna Summer's "she works hard for the money" songs were just classic"
"So sad to hear about Donna Summer :-( Rest In Peace "
"Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade."
"woah! donna summer gone to the great beyond !!! chuck brown then donna summer they're gonna be dancing in heaven!!! i love donna summer RIP "
"RIP : Donna Summer is now in Disco Heaven"
"Always Always, Always loved DonnaSummer .....had a crush on her forever, R.I.P. lady"
"Donna Summer- You have inspired me in so many ways....."
"just heard that #DonnaSummer died today. This is awful! She was so incredible. Her and her family are some of the most beautiful people... I met Donna at the #NobelPeacePrize awards. her and her husband were so kind. this is such a huge loss"
"There are few dancefloor songs that can match I Feel Love. RIP Donna."
"once upon a time" the album by Donna Summer, a moroder+summer masterpiece. They changed music forever, a legend never dies."
Lou Diamond Phillips
"RIP Donna Summer. So many memories from my adolescence I can't even begin to recount. Thanks for the joy & exuberance of dancing"
"In shock that the person who made my favourite record of all time has passed away. R.I.P Donna Summer. :-( #ifeellove #patrickcowleyremix... The 15mins 42 secs of when my life changed forever. R.I.P Donna Summer"
"We will miss Donna Summer! She changed the world of music with her beautiful voice and incredible talent."
"Donna Summer RIP. I promise to do u proud."
"Few singers have impacted music & the world like Donna Summer!It's the end of an era.Peace& prayers 2 all who loved her."
"Donna Summer, 63, RIP. The sound of an era. Studio 54, where are you?"
"The queen of disco may have passed on but Donna Summer's legacy will live on forever! Tonight my last dance is in honour of you!"
"Such a shame about Donna Summer. #originaldiscodiva x *a massive loss to us all*"
"Wow, another legend gone. Rest in peace to the beautiful disco queen Donna Summer."
"RIP Donna Summer. glorious disco Goddess."
"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."
"One of my earliest musical inspirations, RIP Donna Summer #BadGirlsForEver"
"Donna Summer RIP I FEEL LOVE FOR YOU"
"Donna Summer's work with Georgio Moroder changed the face of music and changed my life."
"Lighters up for Donna Summer. Love to Love You Baby. Rest in peace."
"R.I.P Donna Summer the original Dance Diva!!! Big inspiration for me, she will be sorely missed!"
"I'm so sad about the news that Donna Summer died this morning. I was a big fan. I even used one of her songs in my show that airs today."
"I'm so sad. This woman was the queen of disco and so much more. Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace."
Sophie Ellis Bextor
"I'm sad to hear about Donna Summer. What a voice and so many classic songs. The sound of disco."
"Very sad to hear of Donna Summer's passing. Truly iconic and beautiful voice."
"Very. very sad. donna summer has died. words can't express the impact and influence she had on music."
"This cannot be happening....... Please tell me that I'm dreaming that Donna Summer has died????!!! Please no...."
Photo gallery - Donna Summer's life in pictures:
Copyright: Rex Features Andre Csillag/Rex Features