On 8 August 2022, the world lost a musical legend: Olivia Newton-John.

Born in Cambridge, England Newton-John’s family emigrated to Australia when she was five. She wanted to be a veterinarian but went to focus on singing due to her doubts about passing science tests.

Her debut album If Not for You was released in 1971. Even though the album was a decent effort, Newton-John did have the hit single “If Not for You” (made famous by Bob Dylan) and the follow-up single “Banks of the Ohio.” Her career looked dim when her second UK album Olivia came out in 1972 with little success. This changed when her next album Let Me Be There was released; she earned a Grammy for Best Country Female vocalist amongst other awards.

She represented the UK in the 1974 Eurovision Contest with the song “Long Live Love.” She was placed fourth because a little group called ABBA won with the song “Waterloo.” She continued to country success thereafter.

Her fortune changed forever in 1978 when she starred in the film adaptation of a Broadway musical called Grease. She was worried at first because she was too old to play a high school student. She insisted on a screen test with a guy called John Travolta who would be her co-lead. Grease would be the greatest hit of 1978. The soundtrack album was also a huge success with three enduring tracks: “You’re the One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “Summer Nights.”

1981 would be the peak of Olivia’s career with her greatest album Physical. The title track was controversial due to its sexual innuendos and the legendary video about working out at a gym. It became an anthem for working out and “working out.”

Newton-John was about to make a major comeback in 1992 when two things happened: she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her father died the very same weekend she got her diagnosis. Her focus would shift to both music and activism. She would create a cancer and research center in Australia and promote breast cancer awareness campaigns.

She will be missed greatly.