In the 1970s, Olivia Newton-John was one of the most significant female pop singers, appearing in movies including “Grease” and “Xanadu,” she died Monday. She was 73.
The British-born, Australian-raised performer’s death was announced on Instagram, noting that the singer “passed away peacefully” at her ranch home “surrounded by family and friends.”
Four-time Grammy winner Newton-john revealed several years ago that breast cancer had spread to her back, preventing her from performing. Twenty-five years ago, Newton-john had undergone a partial mastectomy and established a cancer treatment and research facility in Australia.
Success in the U. S.
Having moved to the United States as a child, the entertainer became a global superstar. The blonde, blue-eyed singer had her first hit in 1971 with “If Not for You” — another Dylan song also recorded by Harrison.
Over the next few years, she would release “Let Me Be There,” a Grammy winner in the category of best female country performance, “If You Love Me (Let Me Know),” as well as two hit singles, “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “I Honestly Love You.” The latter song won the Grammy for best female pop performance.
The Country Music Association named Newton-John, the female singer of the year in 1974, beating country stars Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. The success of an Australian in American country music surprised country music lovers.
Newton-John’s work was not always well received by the critics, and she often found her frothy and overly commercial. Once, the new york times described her voice as a ”nearly color ness.”
Movie success in Grease
Newton-John’s sales did not suffer criticism as she crossed over from country to pop, and she cemented her fame by co-starring in ”Grease,” the 1978 film that would become one of the most trending musicals in Hollywood history.
Newton-John chose the role of sandy by producer Allan Car after being impressed by her at a dinner party, and Travolta encouraged her to take the position. But, at first, he got hesitant because of her negative trial in the unfortunate 1970 British film flop ”Toomorrow” and was curious about harming her singing career. She was also disturbed about doing an American accent, so she changed the script to make sandy an Australian.
The 1978 film wowed critics and audiences, and its soundtrack yielded several hit songs, such as the title song, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Summer Nights,” as well as her bouncy duet with Travolta, “You’re the One That I Want.”
“I’m grateful for Grease,” she said in 2016. “The movie and the songs are still so loved.”
Create a cancer research center
After her sister’s death from brain cancer, Olivia Newton-John became an advocate for breast cancer. She established the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in her hometown of Melbourne. She also marketed what was known as the Olivia Breast Self-Exam Kit.
As the grandson of German Nobel laureate Max Born, a physicist, Newton-John finished fourth in the 1974 Eurovision singing competition while standing for the United Kingdom.
Actress Olivia newton and also known as the singer, had passed away.