Grease star Dame Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73

Dame Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73, her widower has confirmed.

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

Dame Olivia is best known for her lead role in the 1978 film Grease, where she starred opposite John Travolta as Sandy.

Her performance saw her nominated for several awards, including two Golden Globes, and various other film awards.

She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame almost 41 years ago to the day of her death, August 5, 1981.

Travolta wrote on Instagram that her “influence was incredible” and signed his tribute to the actress as “your Danny”.

“My dear Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote.

“Your influence 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!”

The Grease soundtrack is one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music and features the two hit duets from Dame Olivia and Travolta: Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want.

The latter also ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Apart from her hit role in the film, Dame Olivia is also a multi-platinum selling artist, with two singles and two albums achieving the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certification.

Dame Olivia also represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with the song Long Live Love.

She finished fourth in the competition, held in Brighton, losing to Abba, with their hit song Waterloo.

In a statement posted on Instagram, husband John Easterling wrote: “We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.

Apart from her show business career, Dame Olivia became a prominent breast cancer campaigner, having received the first of three cancer diagnoses in 1992.

After her first bout with the disease, she had a partial mastectomy and reconstruction.

She remained cancer-free until a recurrence in 2013, but revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in three decades in September 2018.

At the time, she told Australian news program Sunday Night that doctors had found a tumor in her lower back in 2017.

The singer said she treated the disease “naturally” and used cannabis oil made from marijuana her husband grows in California to ease the pain.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Easterling said in her Instagram post.

“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience in herbal medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to research into herbal medicine and cancer.”

Easterling added that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Dame Olivia’s foundation.

She is survived by her husband as well as daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

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