Dolly Parton sad to have lost ‘my special friend’ Dame Olivia Newton-John

Dolly Parton says she is so sad to have lost her “special friend” Dame Olivia Newton-John after her death aged 73.

The US country legend said she was “so glad our lives crossed paths” as she joined those paying tribute to the actress and singer online.

The British-born singer died “peacefully” at his Southern California ranch on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends, his widower confirmed.

After the news broke, famous names from the worlds of TV, film and music took to social media to share memories and send condolences to her family.

Sir Elton John, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow were among those who remembered the “beautiful and courageous actress”.

“So sad to have lost my special friend Olivia Newton-John,” Parton wrote in a statement.

“So glad our lives crossed paths. I know her voice sings beautifully with the angels.

“With love, Dolly.”

Hollywood star Paltrow shared a photo of the couple on Instagram and wrote: “Olivia Newton John, I hope you know what you meant to us.

“You were a great inspiration in many ways. I think I thought We Are Magic because of you.”

Rebel Wilson described Dame Olivia as “the most beautiful woman inside and out” and “a true Aussie icon”.

The Australian comedian and actress said it had been “beyond an honour” to play daughter Chloe Lattanzi in A Few Best Men.

“Watching you star in the huge Hollywood film GREASE with your natural accent was so important to me as a little girl and helped me believe that it was possible for an Australian girl to star in major international musicals.

“You were the reason I auditioned for my high school production of GREASE when I was 15 – I was only in the chorus but it was a start! You tried to teach me about health for years before I took it seriously.

“You were so kind to me and it was a blessing to know you Olivia.

“I’ll never forget us singing at the piano during the lunch break on set together – what a complete legend you are! I’m so sad you’re gone.”

Veteran singer Sir Elton shared a collection of pictures of him and Dame Olivia together on Instagram as he remembered his “warm and loving friend”.

He wrote: “The saddest news to wake up to. Olivia was a beautiful and brave woman, who I never heard complain about her illness.

“A beautiful voice and a warm and loving friend. I will miss her so much. My condolences to her family and loved ones.”

Australian actress Delta Goodrem, who portrayed Dame Olivia in a biography called Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You, recalled fond memories of the singer, including a time they had met in New York when she was seven years old.

She also revealed that Dame Olivia had sent her a “beautiful letter” from the star when she herself had been diagnosed with cancer years later.

“There was something about everything, every moment she was an example of what it was to be a role model … and lead in kindness,” she told Australian news program Sunrise.

“What she did for so many, she continued to be this pillar of strength, this constant positivity and hope, and that’s what people feel from her.”

Pop titan Carey recalled the “moment she will never, ever forget” when she got to perform Hopelessly Devoted To You with the Grease star in Melbourne, Australia.

She said she first “fell in love” with Dame Olivia’s voice as a child and felt “blessed” to be in her presence on many occasions.

Alongside a selection of photos of them performing together, the singer described her as “the kindest, most generous and lovely person she had ever met”.

Sir Rod Stewart hailed his “great friend” as the “perfect lady”, adding that she was “gorgeous, poised and with a certain Australian sophistication”.

The singer also revealed that her black spandex pants in the classic final scene of 1978’s Grease were the inspiration behind his style in his Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? track released the same year.

Oprah Winfrey recalled a dinner she had with Dame Olivia in 2019, noting how her positive outlook on her cancer diagnosis was “contagious”.

Pop megastar Kylie Minogue said Dame Olivia “was and always will be” an inspiration to her.

“Since I was ten years old I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John,” the singer wrote on Twitter.

“And I always will. (Just like this photo @nfsaonline) She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways.

“My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. x ONJ4EVER.”

Peter Andre shared a photo of the pair together and hailed her as “a true icon” who was “warm, kind and caring to everyone”.

“I will never forget this night. I had the privilege of performing with Olivia Newton John for the Spina Bifida charity concert in Australia,” he said.

“She was warm, kind and caring to everyone backstage. She was the same every time we met.

“A true icon. Sad day.”

Nancy Sinatra said that although she had not known Dame Olivia personally, she had admired her for “the way she faced her health struggles”.

“Beautiful and strong, she fought to the end,” she wrote.

“My heart goes out to her family and everyone who loves her. It’s just not fair.

“Oh my God, Olivia. We will always be hopelessly devoted to you.”

Dionne Warwick, who recorded a duet with Newton-John in 2006, tweeted: “Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir.

“Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will definitely miss her.

“She now rests in the arms of our Heavenly Father.”

American singer Richard Marx, who also duetted with Dame Olivia, said he would “miss her every day”.

“My heart is broken. Rest now dear friend,” he wrote on Twitter.

“You were as kind and loving a person as there ever was. I’m going to miss you every day.”

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