Celebrating The Life of Olivia Newton-John

Beloved Actress and Singer Passes Away at The Sudden Age of 73

Linnea Sundquist, Entertainment Editor


 Olivia Newton-John sadly passed away on August 8, 2022 in her home in Southern California. Newton-John sudden passing was a shock to us all, as Hollywood has lost such an amazing icon in the acting industry. She shocked the world with her amazing singing skills along with her acting. Her hit film Grease is still loved today by fans as well as her music, with her record breaking songs like Let Me Be There and I Honestly Love You. She captivated the world with her talent and will continue to brighten peoples lives even after her passing. 

Newton-John was born in Cambridge England on September 26, 1948 but later when she was 5 she moved down to Australia with her family. At a very young age Olivia already started showing interest in singing and acting. She appeared on multiple Australian TV shows like The Go Show and Funny Things Happen Down Under. She even won a trip to England after competing in a televised talent show with host Johnny O’Keefe. This trip really made her career skyrocket into fame. 

She made her first ever record  in 1965 named Till You Stay with record deal, Decca-Records. She was later invited to join the band “Toomorrow,” which later made the album eponymous for their sci-fi musical called “Toomorrow,” in 1970, the film wasn’t so popular with audiences and the movie shut down. Olivia decided to focus more on her music career than her film career. 

The 1970’s was a wild ride in Newton-John’s career. Her music was really kicking off in England after she started releasing albums. She released three albums in just three years. In 1971 she released Olivia Newton-John, Olivia in 1972 and finally Music Makes My Day in 1973. She released a hit single of a cover of Bob Marley’s song If Not For You and this got the attention of the United States. Her career really started to grow with not only England loving her, but America too. 

In 1974 she entered the Eurovision Song Contest and sang her own song,  Long Live Love which was also released in 1974. This competition was very competitive and showcased the band ABBA with their new hit song, Waterloo. Sweden ended up winning the competition for ABBA’s  performance and Newton-John came in fourth place. This wasn’t a total loss because a year later in 1975 Newton-John left England to come to America and wrote her next album Have You Never Been Mellow. This album was an instant success and the title song even charted #1 on song charts. While her music career was gaining more and more popularity, she started appearing on many guest shows and even made her own TV special, A Very Special Olivia Newton-John. 

The classic musical that we all know and love, Grease was released in 1978. This film was probably the most memorable performance from Olivia Newton-John’s career. Opposite John Travolta, she did a fantastic job in Grease with amazing choreographed dance numbers that we all remember and love. After this movie was released, many theater and broadway productions put this story into action. The soundtracks topped charts all over America and became an instant success. This movie had long lasting effects on people all over the world even after its release more than 44 years ago. 

 After the success of Grease Newton-John released her album Physical with her #1 song, Let’s Get Physical topping charts once again. Her musical career slowed for a while and focused on other parts of her life. 

During the year of 1992 she was sadly diagnosed with breast cancer. She battled with chemotherapy all while still recording and release music. Even after she had successfully beat cancer with a clear scan she continued to advocate for those who were battling the disease as well. A few years later in 2005 she wrote Stronger Than Before to give hope to cancer patients. Half of the proceeds of the song went to charity. She continued her cancer advocacy by having walkouts, such as when she led a group of people to a walk at the Great Wall of China. 

Unfortunately in 2017, she had to cancel her  North American Tour because the cancer had returned and spread to her lower back. She underwent chemo and when she was cleared she went back to work. She still continued to have a positive outlook on life and in 2020 she and her husband, John Easterling, set up the Olivia Newton-John Foundation. This funded research into plant based medicines and other wellness therapies. 

Olivia Newton-John’s main goal was to tell people that there is a world beyond cancer and spent the rest of her life trying to raise money for charity or conducting walkouts to educate people on cancer. From the start of her life to the end, she was always able to put a smile on peoples faces whether it was her music or her movies. She never stopped giving up on her research and funding to end cancer nor did she ever want to give up.  We mourn the loss of an incredible star and hope the best for her family while they’re grieving.