The Legacy of Olivia Newton-John: Pop Icon and Activist

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We take a look at the life and legacy of Olivia Newton-Jonh, who was a pop icon and an incredible activist.

Olivia Newton-John


LatinAmerican Post| Luis Alberto Garduño

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Leer en español: El legado de Olivia Newton-John: ícono del pop y ejemplo de lucha contra el cáncer de mama

This Monday, August 8, the sad news of the death of actress and singer Olivia Newton-Jonh was released. The actress was recognized for her iconic role as “Sandy” in the movie “Grease”. She died at the age of 73. In this article, we bring you a brief history of her life and her constant fight against breast cancer.

The news was made public through a brief statement posted on Olivia Newton-John's Instagram account. "She passed away peacefully on her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for more than 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer ", were some of the words that her husband Jonh Easterling shared in this statement. In addition, he also asked for respect for the family's privacy during this difficult time.

Pop icon

Born on September 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England, Olivia Newton-John would become a benchmark in pop and country music. At the age of 5 years, she would move to Australia for her father's job. She returned to England as a teenager after winning a talent show. She had many successful singles and appeared in a television series with Cliff Richard, as well as in the movie "Tomorrow" (1970). However, international fame would reach her when she decided to settle in the United States.

Olivia is definitely better known as a singer. She had more than 25 top 40 singles on the US Billboard charts. “Physical” was, without a doubt, one of her biggest hits, as it stayed at number 1 for 10 consecutive weeks. This made it one of the all-time best songs of the 1980s. Winner of four Grammy Awards, Olivia was able to position 5 singles at number one, including "I Love You, Honestly Love You" (1974), "You're The One That I Want" (1978) and, of course, "Physical" (1981).

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In the cinema, Olivia stood out for her participation in the movie "Grease" starring alongside John Travolta. This has become a classic of musicals and thanks to its success, Olivia would achieve world fame. In addition, she participated in other productions that were not well received by critics and did not have the same success. However, the soundtracks did achieve success that the movies did not.

Her fight against breast cancer

In the year of 1992, Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer. This led her to cancel what would be her return to the stage. She battled this disease for around 30 years.

Since her cancer diagnosis was revealed, Olivia has become an advocate for cancer research. She released two albums of her total authorship and the profits obtained were donated for breast cancer research. Likewise, in 2020, she founded the Olivia Newton-Jonh Foundation for the study of plant medicine as a treatment for cancer. Following her passing, her family solicited donations as a way to honor her memory.

Olivia Newton-Jonh was not only an excellent actress and singer, she was a great activist. She was a defender of the environment and a spokesperson for the prevention and timely diagnosis of breast cancer. In addition, she invested resources in the investigation of this disease. Without a doubt, a great loss for the artistic medium. Rest in peace.