Australia lost one of its greatest pop culture icons this week when Olivia Newton-John died on Monday, August 8th at the age of 73.
The Grammy Award-winner and Grease star’s husband, John Easterling, confirmed the sad news on social media, writing that she “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends.” No exact cause of death was given.
Tributes have been pouring in for Newton-John, including from her Grease co-star John Travolta. “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote on Instagram. “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!”
With more than 100 million records sold worldwide throughout her decorated career, Newton-John’s musical legacy has been secured for a long time.
Her final public performance came two years ago and, befitting a person well-known for her charitable endeavours, it was for a good cause. Newton-John memorably returned to the stage alongside several other international artists for the Fire Fight Australia concert in Sydney.
Held in February 2020, the late singer was joined onstage by fellow Australian legend John Farnham, with the pair performing a wonderful duet of ‘Two Strong Hearts’, a song that featured on Farnham’s 13th studio album, 1988’s Age of Reason. ‘Two Strong Hearts’ reached number six on the ARIA Singles Chart that year.
Newton-John and Farnham wowed the huge crowd, with Queen and Adam Lambert, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian also appearing at the relief concert. And it was all worth it in the end, with the concert raising over $9 million for that year’s bush fire appeal.
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