Beloved Australian singer and actor Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73.
The music icon passed away peacefully at her Southern Californian ranch, surrounded by loved ones. The sad news was confirmed by her husband, John Easterling who posted a statement on Instagram, saying: “Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
“We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.”
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continue with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”
Newton-John had been battling breast cancer for three decades after originally being diagnosed with the disease in 1992. After months of aggressive treatment, she went into remission and remained so until being diagnosed with the disease again in 2013. Ahead of a concert tour, the singer announced her breast cancer had returned for a third time.
Her personal battle with the disease inspired the star to found the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, an independent charity sponsoring global research into plant medicine for cancer.
Over the course of her prolific music career, Newton-John won four Grammy Awards from 12 nominations, first taking flight with single Let Me Be There which won her Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1974 and I Honestly Love You which gave her Record of the Year in 1975. Her accolades also include five number one hits and ten top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, plus two Billboard 200 number one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know in 1974, followed by Have You Never Been Mellow in 1975.
Olivia Newton-John | ‘I Honestly Love You’
In 1974, the British-born Australian singer entered the Eurovision Song Contest and represented the UK with a song titled Long Live Love. She finished fourth behind ABBA, whose's notable winning track Waterloo took the glory for Sweden.
This was all before Newton-John reluctantly took on the career-changing role of Sandy Olsson, staring alongside John Travolta in the 1978 musical Grease. The film spawned a number of global hits, including Summer Nights and You’re the One That I Want. The latter remains one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta | ‘You're The One That I Want’
Travolta paid tribute to his co-star in an Instagram post reading: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much.
“We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
Newton-John followed up the performance with the 1980s longest-running hit, Physical. The racy fitness anthem arrived in 1981 and topped charts around the world, despite being banned from some stations.
Olivia Newton-John | ‘Physical’
Other notable releases from her career include Let Me Be There, If You Love Me and her cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not For You.
She was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in 2019 for “services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.”
Newton-John is survived by her husband, John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister Sarah Newton-John and brother Toby.
Vale Dame Olivia-Newton John. You can read tributes to the beloved Aussie star below.
Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her. She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father 🥲🙏🏾♥️— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) August 8, 2022
Journey well, dear friend. She was one of the first to reach out to me after my cancer diagnosis. What a beautiful woman and special talent. Hard to know what to say. She will be missed. https://t.co/Y4y4hwIhB4— Melissa Etheridge (@metheridge) August 8, 2022
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