Olivia Newton-John’s appeal is timeless. With a career spanning more than five decades, Olivia is a vibrant, creative individual adored by fans around the globe. Her first big break was winning a talent contest on the popular TV show, “Sing, Sing, Sing.” By the age of fifteen she had formed an all-girl group called Sol 4. In 1963, Olivia teamed up with Pat Carroll (now Pat Farrar), to create “Pat & Olivia.” The duo toured army bases and clubs throughout the UK and Europe. She cut her first single for Decca Records in 1966. Her U.S. album debut, “Let Me Be There,” produced her first top ten single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy of Country Music as “Most Promising Female Vocalist” and a Grammy Award as “Best Country Vocalist.” In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in “Grease” catapulted Olivia into super-stardom and earned her a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of “Sandy.” The film’s best-selling soundtrack featured the duets “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” with Travolta, as well as her mega-hit, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” To date “Grease” remains the most successful movie musical in history. With more than 100 million albums sold, Olivia’s successes include four Grammy Awards, numerous Country Music, American Music and People’s Choice Awards, ten #1 hits including “Physical,” (which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks making it the #1 single of the ‘80s), and over 15 top 10 singles. Olivia was named the first Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme and in 1991, served as the national spokesperson for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition. In June 2012, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre opened in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. The Centre provides a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research including a wellness center for the mind, body and spirit (ONJCancerCentre.org). In 2014, Olivia was thrilled when the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute opened on the grounds of the ONJCWC. Later that year she reunited with John Travolta to release “This Christmas,” a holiday CD collection that was also a fundraiser for both the ONJCWRC and The Jett Travolta Foundation. As a breast cancer “thriver,” Olivia has become increasingly well-known for talking openly about her personal journey with breast cancer. However, in 2017, Olivia revealed that her breast cancer had returned and metastasized to her sacrum. Despite these challenges Olivia is “totally confident that [her] new journey will have a positive success story to inspire others!” In 2015 she topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart with the #1 hit duet, “You Have to Believe,” with her daughter Chloe Lattanzi. Olivia, who hails from a family of academics, was thrilled to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, in 2018, in recognition of her significant and ongoing support of cancer research and holistic health, as well as her outstanding achievements in the entertainment industry. Recently Olivia released the skincare range, Retreatment Botanics, inspired by the heart of her award winning Gaia Retreat & Spa in the hinterlands of Byron Bay Australia. 2019 began with Olivia receiving the appointment as a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia (General Division) – the highest Australian honor, for her eminent service to community health, particularly people living with cancer, through support for medical research, and as a songwriter and performer. Other upcoming events in 2019 include the USA release of her deeply personal, best-selling memoir “Don’t Stop Believin’,” telling Olivia’s story for the first time in her own words and, the 7th annual Wellness Walk and Research Run benefiting the ONJCWRC. The annual Wellness Walk and Research Run is now a global event, helping the ONJ Centre provide an environment that supports the whole person – body mind and spirit – giving patients and their families the best chance to win over cancer. With her current and ongoing projects and philanthropic endeavors, Olivia’s worldwide popularity is as strong as ever!
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello