Best known for her stint in the movie musical Grease in 1978, playing the role of Sandy, Olivia Newton-John has more to do than just being a singer-songwriter and an actress. In fact, she has battled breast cancer for years and has become an advocate of an anti-cancer society. In addition, she has helped raise awareness through her music and talent.
Who is Olivia Newton-John?
Born on September 26, 1948, in Cambridge, England, Olivia Newton-John spent her childhood in the city of Melbourne in Australia. As early as being a child, she showed enough interest in music leading her to start as a singer in her teenage years. Eventually, she went to England to pursue a career in music in the mid-1960s. Newton-John started off as an entertainer and performed in clubs and in some shows on television.
With the limelight starting to shine on her, she went on to record Grammy-winning hits like “I Honestly Love You” and “Let’s Get Physical.” In 1978, she further became an international star when she played the role of Sandy in the film adaptation Grease. She co-starred with longtime friend John Travolta.
Moreover, with the success that she had gained earlier, Newton-John caught the attention of fans in the United States. Together with her third solo album, one of the songs, “Let Me Be There,” earned her a Grammy Award for best country female vocal performance and it was her first. Interestingly, more awards then followed as she scored hits on the country and pop charts. Among these were Have You Never Been Mellow” and “I Honestly Love You,” which won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1974.
Her Battle with Cancer
In spite of all the successes that Newton-John has had all these years, she has faced one of the greatest battles in her life. In 1992, a dramatic turn in her life happened when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Determined and stronger, she went on and gave a big fight. She fought the disease using chemotherapy and getting a partial mastectomy. Eventually, Newton-John went into remission. However, she suffered a relapse in 2017.
In May of that same year, Newton-John was forced to postpone her North American tour upon learning that her cancer had returned and spread to her lower back. In no time, she underwent radiation combined with natural remedies. More importantly, she continued to have a positive outlook for her future. In fact, in one of her interviews with Today, she shared what it has been living with such a condition.
“I’m not going to be one of those statistics. I’m going to be fine. And I will probably deal with this in my life as an ongoing thing. I think that you can live with cancer like you can live with other things — if you take care of yourself.”
Since then, she has devoted a great part of her life in helping bring awareness about the disease. In addition, she has helped in funding research for cancer and has supported several environmental causes and charities.
Relive Olivia Newton-John’s Grammy-winning hit, “I Honestly Love You” in 1974:
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