Donna Summer's 3 Children: Everything to Know
Late disco legend Donna Summer was a mom of three to daughters Mimi, Brooklyn and Amanda
Legendary singer Donna Summer was the voice of a generation, but to her three girls — Mimi Dohler, Brooklyn Sudano and Amanda Sudano Ramirez — she was always Mom.
Summer welcomed her oldest daughter Mimi with then-husband Helmuth Sommer in 1973. Eight years later, her daughter Brooklyn was born — her first child with husband Bruce Sudano. Summer's third child and second with Sudano, Amanda, arrived the next year.
Summer died of lung cancer at her home in Florida on May 17, 2012. In a statement, her family said they were “at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.”
11 years after her death, the late disco legend was immortalized in an HBO documentary, Love to Love You, Donna Summer — which her daughter Brooklyn co-directed.
"The documentary is a labor of love," Brooklyn told PEOPLE before the film's release. "Everything about my mother was really about love, at the foundation of it. Love and bringing people joy and healing."
Now each mothers of their own, Summer's daughters have carved their own paths and continue to carry on the "Hot Stuff" singer's legacy.
Here is everything to know about Donna Summer’s three children.
Mimi Dohler, 50
Mimi Dohler was born Natalia Pia Melanie Sommer, to Donna Summer and her first husband, Helmuth Sommer, on Feb. 16, 1973. Donna adopted the Anglicized version of Helmuth’s surname as her stage name before they divorced in 1976.
Of Summer’s three daughters, Dohler is the most private. Her 1995 wedding to Richard “Rick” Matthew Dohler was announced in The Baltimore Sun. Her father and stepfather, Bruce Sudano, walked Mimi down the aisle.
In 2013, Mimi joined her sisters and stepfather on stage to accept an award on behalf of their mother at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
In the 2023 documentary, Love to Love You, Donna Summer, Mimi opened up about being sexually abused by someone related to her family's housekeeper as a child. In an interview with PEOPLE, Mimi spoke about her trauma and why she doesn't "hold it against" her mom.
"I don't know that she was ever super comfortable talking about. That was probably one of her biggest nightmares, was something like that happening to one of her kids," Mimi said. "So I think that might have been a very difficult thing for her to have to really hash out with me in some ways."
Today, Dohler is a jewelry designer who sells her products on Etsy.
Brooklyn Sudano, 42
Summer married Bruce Sudano on July 16, 1980, and their first daughter together, Brooklyn Sudano, was born on Jan. 5, 1981.
Brooklyn spoke about the origins of her name during a 2007 interview with BlackFilm.com. When asked if her name came from her father’s hometown, Brooklyn responded: “Yeah, I think that had to be part of it, and also that my dad was in a band called Brooklyn Dreams. I think the combination of the two, plus my parents being the creative types that they are, whether I was a boy or a girl, that was going to be my name.”
She grew up performing with her mom during summer breaks and decided to enroll at Vanderbilt University before moving to New York City to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. From there she was scouted and signed to Ford Modeling Agency.
In the years that followed, Brooklyn built a successful career in acting and modeling before moving to directing and producing. Her film and TV credits include Taken, My Wife and Kids, Rain and Cruel Summer.
She co-directed the 2023 documentary Love to Love You, Donna Summer with Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams and called the project "one of the greatest experiences of my life up until this point" to PEOPLE.
She continued, "I'm a different person as a result of it. And to be able to be on this side of it now and to have audiences and people experience it and respond very positively, thankfully, I have a lot of gratitude, because I feel like she'd be happy."
Brooklyn has been married to her husband Mike McGlaflin since 2006 and the couple share one child.
Amanda Sudano Ramirez, 40
Summer welcomed her third daughter, Amanda Sudano, on Aug. 11, 1982. Like her older sisters, Amanda has also pursued a creative career.
She and her husband, Abner Ramirez, are part of the folk band Johnnyswim. The pair were introduced in 2001, though they didn't start dating until 2005. They married in 2009 and released their first EP the following year.
“I actually have old cassette tapes of myself singing when I was in like preschool. My dad had a studio in the house and he would let us after school come over and write songs in the studio and let us record them,” Amanda told Glide Magazine of her childhood in 2014. “So I’ve been writing songs for as long as I could remember and they were pretty horrible, but it was all about, you know, if I did my homework and what the teacher said at school and if my friend said hi. None of it rhymed at all but my parents gave me some pointers as time went on and I ended up doing all right.”
Amanda's band name Johnnyswim "stems from an inside joke that my family had" because neither she nor her next-door neighbor Johnny could swim. She explained to the outlet, “When Johnny started swimming, started taking swim classes, they were always encouraging him, ‘Swim, Johnny, swim.’ So as soon as he swam then they knew they could get me to jump in the pool."
She continued, "Abner was nice enough when we met to think that was actually kind of a cool idea and we just made it the band name. So the nickname continues.”
Amanda and her husband continue to perform together and have children of their own: Joaquin, Luna and Paloma.
In 2021, their family starred in Home on the Road with Johnnyswim, a reality show that followed the band on tour, on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network. Johnnyswim’s song “Home” was the theme song to the Gaineses’ first show, Fixer Upper.
As for following her mother into the music industry, Amanda told CBS News Philadelphia she "never felt any pressure from my mom. The pressure came in the opposite way." Amanda explained, "I think she had a lot of ideas for these sounds that she wanted to create and genres that she wanted to dip her toe into, and there was always a ton of resistance for her to do that because she made her name doing one thing. ... So she always encouraged us to just find our own voice, to not rush it, to just enjoy writing music and figuring out who we were on our own.”
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