“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,” her husband, John Easterling, wrote in a press release on the singer’s verified Instagram account. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.”
Because of a string of nation and soft-rock hits, Newton-John was already a well-liked singer by the late Nineteen Seventies. However her co-starring position reverse John Travolta in 1978’s “Grease,” arguably the most well-liked film musical of all time, lifted her to a brand new degree of stardom.
Though she had little performing expertise (and turned 29 throughout filming), Newton-John gave an indelible efficiency as Sandy, a sweet-natured Australian switch pupil who romances Travolta’s alpha greaser Danny at a Southern California highschool within the Nineteen Fifties.
Their onscreen chemistry as mismatched lovebirds who endure final-act makeovers to win every others’ hearts — she ditches her frilly attire for heels, leather-based, spandex and a cigarette — anchored the film and impressed repeat viewings by legions of followers.
Newton-John sang on three of the film’s greatest hits: the duets “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” with Travolta, and her swoony solo ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted To You.”
Newton-John recorded her first single in England in 1966 and scored just a few worldwide hits, however she remained largely unknown to US audiences till 1973, when “Let Me Be There” grew to become a top-10 hit on each the grownup modern and the nation charts.
A sequence of No. 1 easy-listening hits adopted, together with “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Please Mr. Please.”
Then got here “Grease,” which was 1978’s top-grossing film and have become an everlasting cultural phenomenon.
The film gave Newton-John a possibility to vary her squeaky-clean picture. The duvet of her subsequent album, “Totally Hot,” featured the singer in black leather-based, whereas its songs had an edgier, extra modern pop sound.
Her singing success
In 1981, she took her new, sexier persona a step additional with “Physical,” a dance quantity with such suggestive lyrics as, “There’s nothing left to talk about unless it’s horizontally.” Banned by a number of radio stations, it grew to become her greatest hit, spending 10 weeks atop the Billboard Sizzling 100.
She additionally appeared in a number of extra big-budget films, together with the musical fantasy “Xanadu” with Hollywood legend Gene Kelly in his last display position. The movie bombed, however its soundtrack bought nicely and spawned “Magic,” a No. 1 hit.
In 1983 she teamed with Travolta once more for “Two of a Kind,” a romantic comedy-fantasy, however it didn’t recapture their “Grease” spark.
Over a prolonged profession Newton-John received 4 Grammy Awards and bought greater than 100 million albums.
“I’ve had many lives in music. I’ve had country when when I started, then I crossed over into pop,” she informed CNN. “I had ‘Xanadu’ and ‘Grease,’ many songs in between. I feel very grateful. I have such a large repertoire to choose from.”
However Newton-John additionally confronted her share of troubles and tragedy. Her breast most cancers diagnoses pressured her to postpone and cancel a number of excursions.
“It’s very hard to live with that,” she informed CNN’s Larry King in 2006. “It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been through a lot of things.” Though her profession profile dimmed in her later years, Newton-John by no means stopped recording and performing. Amongst her highlights have been visitor appearances on “Glee,” a long-running “Summer Nights” residency on the Flamingo Las Vegas and a dance-club hit, “You Have to Believe,” recorded with daughter Chloe.
”I love to sing, it’s all I know how to do,” she informed CNN in 2017. “That’s all I’ve ever done since I was 15, so it’s my life. I feel very grateful that I can still do it and people still come to see me.”