Entertainment

Olivia Newton-John: singer, actress and cancer awareness advocate who never stops celebrating life

So how will you remember Olivia Newton-John?

Wants it as the bad girl who dresses in leather in his breakout movie Fatto play alongside John Travolta?

Or perhaps the purveyor of high-energy, seamlessly catchy – if totally harmless – pop songs that topped the charts worldwide and secured five number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 10?

Perhaps it’s because of her efforts to raise awareness of the environment, one of her many passions.

Or it’s her humanity and courage to speak out about cancer, a disease she’s been diagnosed with three times, most recently in 2018 when she revealed the disease had been spotted at the base of her spine.

She also spoke about a way to think about cancer and make sure your passion for life isn’t being masked.

“My husband is always there and he’s always there to support me and I think I’m going to win it and that’s my goal,” she told Australian newspaper Seven News, referring to John Easterling, her second husband whom she married in 2008.

Newton-John received an OBE at Buckingham Palace in 1979. She was later made a Dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment in 2020

(Getty Images)

Olivia Newton-John was all of those things and more, including a mother and a wife. And it was Easterling who confirmed the British-born star, whose smiling personality appealed to multiple generations, had died aged 73.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years by sharing her journey with breast cancer,” he wrote on social media. “We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this very difficult time.”

Tributes came from everywhere, including one from Travolta, who had played Danny Zuko for her Sandy Olsson in the 1978 film that brought her international fame, and a soundtrack of You’re The One I Want, which was one of the remains top selling singles.

“You better get in shape because I need a man and my heart is with you,” she sings. Travolta replies, “I better get fit because you need a man.”

Newton-John later said of the film and her role, her first in a major film at the age of 29: “Fat changed my life in the most amazing way and I had such an amazing life.”

She added, “When things go wrong, you have to believe that you will get through it and focus on the positive things in your life.”

Singers outside the Savoy Hotel in London in 1988

(Hulton Archives/Getty Images)

Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England, to Brin Newton-John, a Welsh German literature professor. Her mother was Irene Bron, whose father was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Bron.

When she was five or six years old, the family moved to Australia and lived in Melbourne. Her parents later separated and Newton-John returned to the UK to pursue a music career in London.

She had a string of hits, songs like 1974’s “I Honestly Love You” and “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Please Mr Please” released the following year. In 1975, following the advice of an Australian friend, she moved to California.

She went on to release a string of country and pop hits, including “Come on Over.”

And yet it was so Fat, directed by Randal Kleiser, which would change her career forever and induct her into the Queen’s Roll of Honor in 1979, where she was made an OBE. (In 2020 she was further honored and made a Dame.)

While the ’80s was a time when many music creators were looking for other directions, Newton-John doubled down on her pop persona, albeit as a pop star in a leotard, with hits like “Physical” and “Xanadu,” which she recorded with the Electric Light Orchestra .

Newton-John during the annual Wellness Walk and Research Run on September 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia

(Getty Images)

Over time, such hits might seem harmless, but in some parts of conservative upstate America they were seen as daring. In Utah, “Physical” was banned by several radio stations.

It seems clear to Newton-John that the decision to risk controversy was intentional.

“I just didn’t feel like tender ballads,” she says persons magazine in 1982. “I wanted peppy stuff because that’s how I feel.”

Newton-John’s first diagnosis of cancer was in 1992 when she released a greatest hits collection, Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971-1992,

She had planned her first tour in ten years.

As it was, the tour had to be put on hold. She later announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer the same day her father died. Her diagnosis and recovery would lead her to become a committed health and children advocate, which would continue throughout her life.

She conducted a sponsored walk along the Great Wall of China and established a wellness center and clinic in Byron Bay, New South Wales, the Australian seaside resort she loved.

In 2013, Newton-John was diagnosed with cancer for a second time, this time breast cancer, which grew and spread to her shoulder. She was forced to cancel a tour of the US and Canada.

Newton-John with her Grease co-star John Travolta at The Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner in Los Angeles in 2006

(AP2006)

“The back pain that initially led her to postpone the first half of her concert tour has been revealed to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum,” a statement on her official Facebook page said at the time. “In addition to the natural wellness therapies, Olivia will be completing a brief course in Photon Radiation Therapy and is confident she will return later in the year better than ever to celebrate her shows.”

Like many living in the US, Newton-John liked to use cannabis oil to try and relieve pain.

“I’m very fortunate to live in a[US state]where it’s legal…my dream is that in Australia it will soon be available to all cancer patients and people who have cancer or any other disease that is.” causing pain,” she said seven, as she revealed her third diagnosis. “I love to sing, that’s all I can do. It’s all I’ve ever done since I was 15, so it’s my life.”

In conversation with That Guardian In 2020, she continued to advocate for its use at the Santa Barbara ranch where she eventually died.

“I don’t think I have cancer,” she said. “I chose not to see it as a fight either, because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting, wherever it is – whether it’s outside or a real war inside my body. I choose not to see it that way. I want to get my body healthy and balanced again.”

Newton-John’s 2019 memoir states: Do not stop believing‘, which borrows the title from a 1976 album, she writes about finding calm before the world gets hectic: ‘My favorite time of day is the ‘magic hour’ when the sun dips behind the rugged mountain ranges and the skies are colored in a stunning way Purple-pink,” she writes.

“I’m sitting on a weathered stone bench during the magic hour, letting the day fall over me and surrounding myself with love and light.”

She adds: “It is and will continue to be a beautiful life, even though I told the world a few hours ago that my cancer has returned.”

To the end, while Newton-John continued to talk about cancer and the challenge of tackling it on her own terms. She also spoke repeatedly about life and the opportunities presented to her.

In 2021, she appeared on NBC today program and spoke to presenter Hoda Kotb, who had previously also been treated for breast cancer, about life, love and music.

“We are sisters. Anyone who has embarked on this journey with cancer is faced with unknown destinations and surprises and twists and turns,” she said.

When asked how she was doing herself, she paid tribute to her husband.

“I have my periods, I have my pains, but the cannabis my husband grows for me has been such a big part of my healing and that’s why I’m a really happy person,” she said.

She added: “For me, singing is my soul and I don’t miss touring, but I love singing and I love writing songs. So I don’t know what I’m going to do about it yet. Right now I’m just enjoying being because we’re human.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/olivia-newton-john-cancer-grease-travolta-b2141102.html Olivia Newton-John: singer, actress and cancer awareness advocate who never stops celebrating life

JOE HERNANDEZ

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimetoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button