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Olivia Newton-John, Singer and 'Grease' Star, Dies at 73

Newton-John won four Grammy Awards and remained Australia's all-time most successful solo music star.

The actress and singer passed away at her ranch in Southern California.
Paramount Pictures

Olivia Newton-John, the Australian actress and pop singer best known for her starring role in the 1978 movie musical Grease and 1981 hit song Physical, has died, her husband confirmed on Facebook on Monday. She was 73. 

Newton-John died at her ranch in Southern California while surrounded by family and friends, according to her husband, John Easterling. Although a specific cause of death has not yet been announced, Newton-John battled breast cancer for over 30 years. It was reported that the actress was treated for breast cancer in 1992, and she announced in 2017 that the cancer had returned and metastasized. 

In October 2020, Newton-John and Easterling launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, an independent organization sponsoring research into plant medicine for cancer. 

"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," her husband said in the Facebook statement. "Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer."

Newton-John got her big break in the early '70s as a pop singer with hits If Not for You (1971) and Let Me Be There (1973). She was launched to stardom in 1978, when she starred as Sandy in the movie Grease alongside John Travolta. Sandy quickly became a pop-culture icon as many songs from the musical, such as Hopelessly Devoted to You and You're The One That I Want, became classics.  

Her success continued in 1981 when she released her song Physical, which became the No. 1 single of the decade, according to Billboard. Newton-John reportedly sold more than 100 million records over her five-decade career. She also won four Grammy Awards and remained Australia's all-time most successful solo music star.

Fans, peers and loved ones, as well as former crew mates and costars have begun to remember Newton-John on social media, including Grease co-star John Travolta.

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," Travolta posted on Instagram. "Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"