Legendary singers Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan are both paying their last respects to their friend through statements obtained by ESSENCE.com.
Summer’s friend for over 30 years, Khan remembers her as one of the most genuine people she had ever met. “She is one of the few Black women I could speak German with,” she says, “and she is one of the few friends I had in this business.”
“I will miss her very much,” she adds. “My love goes out to her family. I’m here for them.”
The two pals were both Rock and 2011 Roll Hall of Fame nominees, though neither was inducted.
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin also weighed in, calling Summer’s death “shocking.”
“In the 70s, she reigned over the disco era and kept the disco jumping. Who will forget ‘Last Dance,'” Franklin said. “A fine performer and a very nice person.”
Like Franklin, Summer was bestowed a title of royalty as the “Queen of Disco.” Though the two never collaborated, Summer continually named Franklin as one of her greatest inspirations.
The late singer’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers, fans should send donations to the Salvation Army.