Olivia Newton-John, great Singer and ‘Grease’ Star, Dies at 73

Olivia Newton- John, great Singer and ‘ Grease ’ Star, Dies at 73 

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She amassed No. 1 hits, chart- topping albums and four records that sold more than two million copies each. further than anything differently, she was likable, indeed cherished. 
Olivia Newton- John, who sang some of the biggest successes of the 1970s and ’80s while revamping her image as the virginal girl next door into a spandex- clad termagant — a transformation reflected in atomic by her starring part in “ Grease, ” one of the most popular movie musicals of its period — died on Monday at her ranch in Southern California. She was 73. 

Olivia Newton- John, great Singer

The death was announced by her husband, John Easterling. She had lived with a breast cancer diagnosis since 1992 and in 2017 announced that the cancer had returned and spread. For years she was a prominent advocate for cancer exploration, starting a foundation in her name to support it and opening a exploration and wellness center in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. English- born, she grew up in Australia. 
Ms. Newton- John amassedNo. 1 hits, chart- topping albums and four records that sold further than two million copies each. More than anything differently, she was likable, indeed beloved. 
In the earlier phase of her career,Ms. Newton- John beguiled listeners with a high, supple, vibrato- warmed voice that paired amiably with the kind of swooning middle- of- the- road pop that, in themid-1970s, frequently passed for country music. 
Her performance on the charts made that blurring clear. She scored seven Top 10 successes on Billboard’s Country chart, two of which came back- to- back overallNo. 1 hits in 1974 and ’ 75. First came “ I Actually Love You, ” an humorless declarationco-written by Peter Allen and Jeff Barry, followed by “ Have You noway Been Mellow, ” a feather of a song written by the producer of numerous of her biggest albums, John Farrar. 
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“ I Actually Love You ” also won two of the singer’s four Grammys, for record of the time and best female pop vocal performance. 
The combination of Ms. Newton- John’s constantly benign music she was noway a fave of critics — and comely but squeaky-clean image caused numerous writers to compare her to earlier blond ingénues like Doris Day and Sandra Dee. “ Innocent, I ’m not, ”Ms. Newton- John told Rolling Stone in 1978. “ People still feel to see me as the girl next door. Doris Day had four husbands, ” she said, yet she was still viewed as “ the virgin. ” 
An entry into pictures in 1978 aimed to put the singer’s chaste image behind her, starting with “ Grease. ” Her character, Sandy, converted from a pigtailed square smitten with John Travolta’s bad- boy Danny to a gum- smacking bad girl. “ Grease ” came one of the top grossing movie musicals ever, besting indeed “ The Sound of Music. ” Its soundtrack was the second best- selling album of the year, beaten only by the soundtrack for “ Saturday Night Fever, ” which also starredMr. Travolta.

Olivia Newton- John, great star

The “ Grease ” soundtrack spawned twoNo. 1 hits, both sung by theco-stars, including the manically lusty “ You ’re the One That I Want ” and the doo- wop rollick “ Summer Nights. ” A dittyMs. Newton- John sang alone, “ Hopelessly Devoted to You, ” earned the film’s lone Oscar nomination, for best song. 
 Applying the elaboration of her “ Grease ” character to her singing career,Ms. Newton- John named her next album “ Completely Hot, ” and presented herself on the cover in shoulder- to- toe leather. The album, released at the end of 1978, went platinum, yielding the rock- oriented “ A Little further Love ” with the line, “ Where did my innocence go? ” 
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Olivia Newton- John was born on

The album featured Ms. Newton- John singing in a kindly more forceful voice. Though her sales dipped as the 1970s turned into the ’80s, by early in the decade she began the most commercially potent period in her career, peaking with the single “ Physical, ” which spent 10 weeks on Billboard’s top perch. Later, the magazine declared it to be the biggest song of the 1980s. 
Olivia Newton- John was born on Sept. 26, 1948, in Cambridge, England, the youngest of three children of Brinley and Irene( Born) Newton- John. Her mama was the son of the Nobel Prize- winning physicist Max Born. Her Welsh- born father had been an MI5 intelligence officer during World War II and subsequently served as headmaster at Cambridgeshire High School for Boys. 
 When Ms. Newton- John was 6, her family immigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where her father worked as a college professor and director. At 14, she formed her first group, Sol Four, with three girls from academy. Her beauty and confidence soon earned her solo performances on original radio and television shows under the name “ Lovely Livvy. ” On “ The Go!! Show ” she met the singer Pat Carroll, with whom she'd form a duet, as well as her eventual producer,Mr. Farrar, who latterly marriedMs. Carroll. 
Ms. Newton- John won a original television talent contest whose prize was a trip to Britain. While tarrying there, she recorded her first single, “’ Til You Say You ’ll Be Mine, ” which Decca Records released in 1966. 

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