Olivia Newton-John dead at 73


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Mar 16, 2019
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Olivia Newton-John, famous for her countless hits during the 1970s and 1980s, as well for her noted role as Sandy in the film Grease, has succumbed to cancer at the age of 73.

In her first few years of her recording career, she recorded mostly country and western songs (she was one of two country singers from Australia to chart in the U.S., the other being Keith Urban). Among her country songs included "I Honestly Loved You" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You". Her successful songs from Grease included 1950s-flavored songs such as "You're The One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" both of which charted in 1978 - despite the surge in disco's popularity that year. The film's theme was actually recorded by Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons, which supposedly had more of a disco sound, despite the film being set in the 1950s.

After Grease, she starred in two other films - Xanadu in 1980; and in 1983 she reunited with her Grease co-star, John Travolta, in the film Two of a Kind.

As we headed into the 1980s, she transitioned into recording pop music and had successful hit singles into the 1980s, including "A Little More Love", "Magic", "Heart Attack", "Make a Move on Me" and "Twist of Fate" (the latter of which was her final top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100). Her biggest hit, "Physical", spent ten weeks at #1 during the 1981-82 transition, tying a record at the time already set by Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" and a song from the 1950s or 1960s that I do not know off the top of my head. The success of "Physical" sparked a gym/aerobics craze around that time - helping pave the way for Jane Fonda's Workout and the TV series 20 Minute Workout.

On the Billboard Hot 100, her success would be overshadowed by several songs after 1991 spending more weeks at #1, namely "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men - which spent 16 weeks at #1 in 1996, a record that would be tied in recent years by a song in recent years that I do not recall off the top of my head.

Her death occurred exactly 42 years after the theatrical release of Xanadu, in which she starred, and performed the theme song with Electric Light Orchestra (who were renamed by the shortened name ELO then).

We honestly loved her. May she rest in peace.
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