Olivia Newton-John died “peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” according to an Instagram post shared by her family. She was 73.
“We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.”
The Australian singer was known just as much for her top hits, including “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want,” as she was for her starring role alongside John Travolta in the classic film, “Grease.”
Newton-John was diagnosed with cancer multiple times through the years after first revealing she battled breast cancer in 1992, which she discussed in her 2019 memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin.'”
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN REFLECTS ON HOW SONG ‘PHYSICAL’ REINVENTED HER IMAGE
“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation,” the social media post added.
“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.”
Newton-John married Easterling in 2008 on top of a mountain in Peru during an Incan spiritual wedding ceremony. They returned to Florida and made their union legal with a beachfront wedding on Jupiter Island on June 30.
Easterling founded Amazon Herb Company, and formulated a special blend of cannabis called “Olivia’s Choice” for his wife, who was also an advocate for the plant medicine.
Days before her death, Lattanzi posted a picture with her mother and wrote, “I worship this woman. My mother. My best friend.”
John Travolta shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram to his former “Grease” costar. “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN REMEMBERED BY JOHN TRAVOLTA, RICHARD MARX AND MORE CELEBRITY FRIENDS: ‘MY DEAREST OLIVIA’
Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, lost her battle to 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, gentle spirit. And we shared care for the environment. We made a video together when her baby was born and when [my daughter] Chloe was a young baby. We made a video at our home for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition about pesticides and things that you have under your sink that can be dangerous for children.”
Travolta and Newton-John captured the hearts of America with the 1978 hit film “Grease,” about good girl Sandy Olsson (Olivia) who was new to Rydell High and found out her summer fling, Danny Zuko (Travolta), was one of the bad boys on campus.
‘GREASE’ STAR OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN DETAILS FIRST KISS WITH JOHN TRAVOLTA
Songs she sang in the American classic, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and the duets with Travolta, “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” ranked on the top Billboard hits for the year.
The movie, which also starred Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn and Michael Tucci, was filmed on a $6 million budget at Venice High School, John Marshall High School and Huntington Park High in Los Angeles. It went on to make more than $396 million worldwide.
Newton-John embarked on the project after already finding success as a singer, and earned her 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 off her 11th studio album of the same name released in 1981 and went certified platinum. On the 40th anniversary of its release, Newton-John told Fox News the song allowed her to revamp her image from good girl to sultry siren.
“They call it reinventing yourself,” the “Xanadu” star said of the shift in how she was perceived by fans after the song became a hit. “I wasn’t doing it on purpose. It just was the song that I was attracted to and the album. But I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to record it.”
At the time, the song was considered too scandalous for some markets and was banned from playing on some radio stations.
“I felt a little embarrassed to be banned,” she said of the song, which was originally written with Rod Stewart in mind. “But looking back now, I go, ‘That was great.’ It got attention. And also compared to what I’m listening to on the radio now, it’s more like a lullaby.”
Barbra Streisand shared a photo of herself with the actress and wrote, “Too young to leave this world. May she RIP.”
Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson wrote, “Sad news about Olivia Newton John passing.”
Dionne Warwick tweeted, “Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her. She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father.”
George Takei wrote, “We have lost a great, iconic artist in Olivia Newton John, gone too soon from us at age 73. I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond. Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth.”
Musician Richard Marx wrote: “My heart is broken. Rest now, sweet friend. You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day.”
Read the full article here