“God wanted to heal her”
Donna Summer’s daughter opens up about the battle with cancer that took her mother’s life.
On one current episode On the Allison Interviews podcast, Brooklyn Sudano recounted details of her mother’s battle with lung cancer that killed the singer in 2012.
“My mother was extremely strong as a person. I think her decision not to share it [her diagnosis] “It was clear with the world that she was a woman of faith and truly believed that God would heal her,” the 42-year-old My Wife and Kids star told host Allison Kugel.
Summer, who described Sudano as “one of the strongest people” she knew, stayed positive and surrounded herself with people who shared the same energy.
“When you’re in the public eye, you end up arousing a lot of people’s feelings,” Sudano continued of her “soldier” mother. “She didn’t think she could take other people’s fear of her illness or their expectations of what it would look like.”
The ‘Love to Love You Baby’ hitmaker never went to the hospital, much to her doctor’s surprise, and Sudano said the late star had been ‘working on’ receiving love ‘without having to give it’ in the last year of her life .
“She just had a strength and a will that surpassed anything I had ever experienced before, and she died at home in Naples, Florida.”
The Grammy-winning Queen of Disco, who died at the age of 63, is the subject of an HBO documentary that premiered this week.
“Love to Love You, Donna Summer,” which premiered May 20, reveals the difficulties the singer has faced throughout her successful career.
As a child, she experienced sexual abuse at the hands of her pastor and was later physically abused by her partner Peter Mühldorfer, who said he could “never forgive himself” after hitting her.
Her mental health was deteriorating and she was seriously contemplating suicide – but her foot caught on the hotel curtain when a housekeeper entered the room. She later admitted that if another “10 seconds” had passed, she would have been dead.
“Love to Love You Baby” — one of the most scandalous songs of its time — secured Summer’s legendary status, but despite her public identity as a sex symbol, the disco legend was a born-again Christian.
“When I first discovered this song, there was this moment where I went up to my younger sister, Amanda, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, do I have a crazy song for you!'” Sudano told Kugel.
But some of Summer’s comments got her in trouble over the years – namely the comment, “God didn’t create Adam and Steve. He created Adam and Eve.”
“Their intention was not hurtful, but obviously a lot of people were hurt as a result,” Sudano said. “We wanted to acknowledge that, but the way it snowballed and all the things people were saying about her and how she felt about the LGBTQ+ community was the complete opposite of her.”
In fact, the actress said that community is “a huge part of her fandom” and life, and said Summers is “caught in a changing time about what you can and can’t say.”
Still, Summer’s success was “groundbreaking,” Sudano said.
“I think it’s been very empowering in so many ways for so many people to see and experience a woman, especially a black woman, stand on stage and just have her own power,” she said. “It was groundbreaking for the time.”