Iconic pop star and “Grease” actress turned 73

Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73.

The “Grease” legend died Monday morning at her Southern California ranch surrounded by family and friends after a long battle with cancer.

The sad news was announced on her official Facebook page in a statement, which read: “Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and groundbreaking experience with plant medicines continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund dedicated to research into plant medicines and cancer.”

The Post has reached out to Newton-John’s rep for further comment.

The “Physical” singer is survived by her husband John Easterling, 14, and daughter Chloe Lattanzi, 36.

Newton-John died Monday morning at her ranch in California after a long battle with cancer.
Newton-John died Monday morning at her ranch in California after a long battle with cancer.

Newton-John was born in England in 1948 before moving to Australia at the age of 14.

She began singing in the late 1960s and eventually released her first solo album, If Not for You, in 1971, the title track of which was originally written by Bob Dylan and recorded by George Harrison.

The song reached #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart and #25 on the pop chart, but Olivia Newton-John didn’t crack the US until she was cast in the 1978 film musical Grease opposite John Travolta.

In the film adaptation of the Broadway hit, the character Sandy was changed from American Sandy Dumbrowski to Australian Sandy Olsson, in part to accommodate Olivia’s accent.

It was the biggest blockbuster of 1978, with Olivia’s duet with co-star John Travolta “You’re the One That I Want” topping the pop chart and “Summer Nights” at No. 5. Olivia’s Great Solo Ballad ” Hopeless Devoted to You”, climbed to number 3.

Newton-John became an absolute sensation before she was cast opposite John Travolta in the hit 1978 film musical Grease.
Getty Images

The film transformed Newton-John into one of the biggest stars on earth, and her next solo album, Totally Hot, hit the charts later that year.

In 1980, Newton-John attempted a second hit movie musical with “Xanadu,” but the film was a critical flop and audience failure.

However, the soundtrack was a hit, going double platinum and cementing Newton-John’s status as a pop superstar.

Then, in 1981, the blonde hit her biggest hit with the sexually charged anthem “Physical,” which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart.

It was eventually named the greatest song of the 1980s.

The provocative lyrics prompted two Utah stations to ban the track, and Newton-John later told Fox News of the “Physical” phenomenon: “I never really found it sexy. So I thought the title was funny. I mean, I had a panic attack when it came out because I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve gone too far! We just have to make a video about sports.” And that made it even bigger! But I’m very thankful to have this song in my life.”

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Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 when she was just 43 years old.

Doctors discovered a malignant tumor in her right breast and she underwent a modified radical mastectomy and chemotherapy before finally being declared cancer-free.

She subsequently became a prominent advocate for promoting breast cancer awareness.

However, in 2013, an X-ray taken after a car crash showed Newton-John had cancer in his right shoulder. The star was treated but did not release the cancer diagnosis at the time.

In 2017, Newton-John found a return and metastases in her lower back. By the time it recurred in 2017, the cancer had spread to her bones and reached stage IV.

In September of that year, Newton-John said she doesn’t focus on her illness but on things that make her happy to get through the day with a positive attitude.

“I’m a very privileged person and I’m very aware of that,” she said. “I have an amazing husband, I have all the animals I adore, I have an incredible career. I really have nothing to complain about.”

https://nypost.com/2022/08/08/olivia-newton-john-dead-iconic-pop-star-and-grease-actress-was-73/ Iconic pop star and “Grease” actress turned 73

Emma Bowman

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