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Olivia Newton-John she died “peacefully on her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” according to an Instagram post shared by her family. She was 73 years old.
“We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for more than 30 years by sharing her journey with breast cancer.”
The Australian singer was known as much for her smash hits, including “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want,” as she was for her lead role. with John Travolta in the classic movie, “Grease.”
Newton-John was diagnosed with cancer several times over the years after first revealing that she battled breast cancer in 1992, which she discussed in her 2019 memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin.”
“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continue with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to plant medicine and cancer research. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made at her memory to @onjfoundation.” she added the post on social media.
“Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall.”
Days before her death, Lattanzi posted a photo with her mother, writing, “I adore this woman. My mother. My best friend.”
John Travolta shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram to her former “Grease” co-star. “My dearest Olivia, you made our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you in the future and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever. Yours Danny, you John!
Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, lost her battle with cancer in the summer of 2020.
“Kelly was a lovely, beautiful woman, both inside and out,” Newton-John told Fox News. “She had a very sweet and gentle spirit. And we shared caring for the environment. We made a video together when her baby was born and when [my daughter] Chloe was a little baby. We made a video in our house for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition about pesticides and the things you have under the sink that can be dangerous for children.”
Travolta and Newton-John captured America’s hearts with the 1978 hit movie “Grease,” about good girl Sandy Olsson (Olivia), who was new to Rydell High and discovered that her summer fling, Danny Zuko (Travolta). ), was one of the bad boys on campus.
The songs he sang on the American classic, “Hopeless Devoted to You,” and duets with Travolta, “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” ranked among the top Billboard hits of the year.
The film, which also stars Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn and Michael Tucci, was shot on a $6 million budget at Venice High School, John Marshall High School and Huntington Park High in Los Angeles. It went on to earn over $396 million worldwide.
Newton-John embarked on the project after finding success as a singer and won the first of four Grammy Awards in 1973 with the Best Female Country Vocalist trophy for “Let Me Be There”.
“Physical” was her fifth No. 1 single from her eleventh studio album of the same name released in 1981 and was certified platinum. On the 40th anniversary of her release, Newton-John told Fox News that the song allowed her to renew her image from good girl to sultry siren.
“They call it reinventing themselves,” she said of the change in how fans perceived her after the song became a hit. “I wasn’t doing it on purpose. It was just the song that appealed to me and the album. But I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to record it.”
At the time, the song was deemed too scandalous for some markets and was banned from playing on some radio stations.
“I felt a little embarrassed that I got banned,” she said of the song, which was originally written with Rod Stewart in mind. “But looking back now I’m like, ‘That was great.’ It got attention. And also compared to what I’m hearing on the radio now, it’s more like a lullaby.”