Olivia Newton-John

Born in Cambridge, England on September 26, 1948, to a Welsh father and a German mother, Olivia Newton-John was mostly raised in Australia, joining all-girl group Sol Four when she was 14. Winning a trip to England in a talent show, she recorded her first single “Till You Say You'll Be Mine” before teaming up with Australian singer Pat Carroll in the duo Pat & Olivia. Monkees creator Don Kirshner recruited her for his 1970 science fiction musical film Toomorrow and, although it flopped, it helped launch Olivia's solo career. Her 1971 debut album If Not For You, which introduced her as a country / pop crossover artist. Her first big hit was the album’s title track, although she wasn’t able to capitalize on that success until the release of her 1973 single ‘Let Me Be There”, which paved the way for more Top 10 hits including “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), the massively successful “I Honestly Love You” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), and “Please Mr. Please” (1975). While she still charted internationally in 1976 and 1977, many of her singles never made it into the Top 20. Things quickly turned around in 1978 when she appeared in the movie Grease with John Travolta and released her biggest hit yet, “You’re the One That I Want” (a duet with Travolta). Her hit streak continued with two more singles pulled from the Grease soundtrack: “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Summer Nights” (another duet with Travolta). After the success of the film and soundtrack, Olivia Newton-John went back to her solo career, scoring a hit with “A Little More Love” (1978). In 1980, she was back in the higher regions of the charts with her tracks from the soundtrack to the film Xanadu: “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with Electric Light Orchestra). Initially marketed as a sweet and innocent songbird, she changed her image in 1981 to reveal a sexier, more ‘physical’ Olivia Newton-John with the album Physical and the title track, which was an international hit, hitting Number 1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. She continued to have hits – including “Heart Attack” (1982) and “Twist of Fate” (1983) – but her subsequent singles failed to make an impact on the charts. By 1986, she slowed down her recording and performing schedule in order to raise her daughter, Chloe. Her albums became less about having hits and more about her personal feelings including the critically acclaimed Gaia: One Woman's Journey (1994), which chronicled her battle with cancer. Further albums included Indigo: Women of Song (2004), Grace and Gratitude (2006), and Liv On (2016). On August 8, 2022, Olivia Newton-John died from cancer at the age of 73.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Olivia Newton-John

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