Music and Movie fans mourn death of Dame Olivia Newton-John, age 73

Olivia Newton-John, performing at the Sydney State Theatre in September 2008. By Leahshia Gaston via wikipedia commons

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) was a British-Australian singer, actress, and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number one hits and another ten Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two Billboard 200 number one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975). Eleven of her singles (including two Platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2× Platinum) have been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of more than 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present.

In 1978, Newton-John starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta: “You’re the One That I Want” – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and “Summer Nights“. Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner “I Honestly Love You” (1974) and “Physical” (1981) – Billboard‘s Top Hot 100 Single of the 1980s. Other hit singles include “If Not for You” and “Banks of the Ohio” (both (1971)), “Let Me Be There” (1973), “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “Sam” (1977), “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (also from Grease), “A Little More Love” (1978) and, from the 1980 film Xanadu, “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with the Electric Light Orchestra).

Newton-John was an activist for environmental and animal rights causes, and advocated for breast cancer research. She died of breast cancer after decades of fighting the disease.

Although originally from the United Kingdom and living in the United States for most of her adult life, she considered herself an Australian.

ILLNESS AND DEATH

In May 2017, it was announced that Newton-John’s breast cancer had returned and metastasised to her lower back. Her back pains had initially been diagnosed as sciatica. She subsequently revealed this was actually her third bout with breast cancer, as she had a recurrence of the disease in 2013 in addition to her initial 1992 diagnosis. With the 2017 recurrence, the cancer had spread to her bones and progressed to stage IV. Newton-John experienced significant pain from the metastatic bone lesions and had spoken of using cannabis oil to ease her pain. She was an advocate for the use of medical cannabis; her daughter Chloe owns a cannabis farm in Oregon.

On 8 August 2022, Newton-John died from cancer at her home in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. She was 73. Tributes were paid by John TravoltaFrankie ValliBarbra StreisandNicole KidmanElton JohnDelta Goodrem and the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese.

The state of Victoria has offered to hold a state funeral for Newton-John, which her family indicated interest in, though they plan to have her interred at her ranch in California.

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