Beloved Australian singer and actor Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73, her family confirmed on Tuesday morning.
Newton-John died “peacefully” at her home in southern California, according to her husband John Easterling.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Mr Easterling said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” he said.
Mr Easterling asked that that the family’s privacy be respected “during this very difficult time”.
Fellow musicians and Hollywood greats are remembering the “iconic” performer.
John Travolta, who played ‘Danny’ to Newton-John’s ‘Sandy’ in the 1978 hit musical Grease, said his friend made an “incredible impact”.
“My dearest Olivia, you made all our lives so much better,” Travolta wrote on Instagram.
“I love you so much. See you down the road and we will all be together again,” he said. “Yours from the first moment I saw you.”
Travolta signed his tribute, “your Danny, your John”.
Newton-John’s performance in Grease led to multiple award nominations, including two Golden Globes.
She was honoured with the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame almost 41 years ago to the day of her death, on August 5, 1981.
Newton-John was one of the biggest music stars of the 1970s and ’80s and won multiple Grammy awards.
One of her biggest hit songs was Let’s Get Physical, which sold more than two million copies and was No.1 on the US Billboard charts for 10 consecutive weeks at the end of 1981.
Newton-John also represented Britain in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Long Live Love.
She finished fourth in the competition – losing to ABBA, with their hit song Waterloo.
Newton John was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1978 by the Queen.
Born in Cambridge, England, in 1948, Newton-John moved with her family to Melbourne at the age of five when her father was appointed master of Melbourne University’s prestigious Ormond College.
She was educated at University High School, opposite the college, before pursuing a music career, eventually moving to the US.
‘I need to enjoy my life’
Newton-John is survived by her husband and her only child from a previous marriage, 36-year-old daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
Her family has not confirmed the cause of death. But they did cite her ‘long illness’.
Newton-John became a prominent breast cancer campaigner after being given the first of three cancer diagnoses in 1992.
Following her initial battle with the disease, she had a partial mastectomy and reconstruction.
She remained cancer-free until a recurrence in 2013, but revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in three decades in September 2018.
At the time, she told Australian news program Sunday Night that doctors had found another tumour in 2017.
The singer said she was treating the illness “naturally” and was using cannabis oil made from marijuana her husband grew in California to alleviate the pain.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Mr Easterling said.
He said that in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Newton-John’s cancer research foundation.
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