Olivia Newton-John, who had a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s and starred with John Travolta in the beloved movie version of Grease died today at her Southern California ranch, according to her official Facebook page. She was 73.
The singer had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. The cancer returned in 2013 and had metastasized to her lower back within four years.
Newton-John was born in the UK, but raised in Australia. she began as a country music singer, but quickly crossed over to pop. Her hits included “Physical,” “Magic,” and “I Honestly Love You.” Aside from Grease in 1978, Newton-John also starred in the movie musical, Xanadu in 1989.
On television, Newton-John made two appearances on American Idol. In 2003, she mentored season 2’s Top 10 country music week. And in 2007, she guest judged the Los Angeles judges auditions.
“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” wrote her husband, John Easterling on Facebook. “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 message continued. “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 Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).”
“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.”
Her “Let’s Get Physical” music video in the early 80s spawned parodies and more and fit right into the exercise craze at the time. At the time, exercise