Such a huge part of my pop music childhood.
Olivia Newton-John, the top female pop vocalist of the 1970s who starred in movies including “Grease” and “Xanadu,” died Monday. She was 73.
Her husband John Easterling posted the news on her official Facebook page, writing:
“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.”
A cause of death was not given, but Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer that surfaced for a third time in 2017.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” her husband wrote.
Her “Grease” costar and hit duet partner John Travolta was quick to weigh in with a tribute on social media. “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote. “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!”
I used to sing “Have You Never Been Mellow?” into a hairbrush in front of a mirror.
I re-watched her in “Grease” recently and thought, “Man, have my tastes in movies changed.”
But I also realized what a stroke of genius it was to cast her as the female lead. She was the perfect person for that role.
Two videos below. One is her appearance on Bette Midler’s ill-fated sitcom. The other is her singing a duet of one of ONJ’s hits on-stage with Mariah Carey.