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Summer inks with Mercury

Singer Donna Summer has signed a long-term recording pact with Mercury Records, reuniting the former queen of disco with the label that distributed many of her ’70s chart-toppers such as “Love to Love You Baby” and “Hot Stuff.”

Summer began her career with the now-defunct Casablanca Records, which was then distributed by Mercury/Polygram.

Following a stint with Geffen Records — she was the label’s first signing — Summer returned to the Mercury fold in 1983, releasing the signature title track “She Works Hard for the Money.” She also scored a Grammy off that disc for “He’s a Rebel.”

The impetus for the signing, sources said, was the success of the “Donna Summer Anthology,” a two-disc retrospective set recently released by Polygram through its Chronicles imprint.

The demo tapes Summer shopped to labels featuring some well-crafted story songs, described as “countrified pop,” also weighed heavily in obtaining the new pact.

The 45-year-old singer has recently developed an interest in country music, and has moved to Nashville with her husband to also pen songs for country artists.

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