At the state memorial service for Olivia Newton-John on Sunday in Australia, her daughter and widower moved the mourners to tears.
British-Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John (1948-2022) was honored at the state memorial service on Sunday at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, Australia. The celebrated artist and activist passed away last August at the age of 73.
Newton-John’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi spoke through tears, describing her mother as her safe haven, her guide and the earth beneath her feet. “I loved like she loved completely,” she said. “She wanted us all to laugh and reminisce together to celebrate her life.”
Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, also spoke. , he shared of their time together in the United States and their shared passion for nature and wildlife. “She was the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he said during the service. “Her enthusiasm, with which she genuinely cared for people, animals and living beings of all kinds, almost exceeded what is humanly possible.” Even in her most difficult times, she always had the spirit, humor and willpower to see things positively, he recalled.
Artists worldwide paid tribute
Australian artists, dignitaries and fans packed Hamer Hall for the service, while international stars including Hugh Jackman, 54, Pink, 43, Dolly Parton, 77, Mariah Carey, 53, and Sir Cliff Richard, 82, paid tribute via video messages paid. “She was always optimistic, she was funny, she was beautiful, she was friendly,” said Sir Elton John (75) in his video message. “These kind of people don’t come around often, so we should cherish her memory and never forget what she gave to the world.”
Delta Goodrem, 38, who played Newton-John in a 2018 miniseries, held back tears on Sunday as she performed a medley of the singer’s greatest hits, including ‘Let’s Get Physical’ and ‘Xanadu’. “She was really a light for the whole industry,” Goodrem told Australia’s Nine Network before the service. “I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if I hadn’t learned from Olivia and she paved the way for other artists.”
Olivia Newton-John moved to Melbourne from the UK at a young age and showed a passion for performing from an early age. Her big break came with the role of Sandy in the 1978 film “Grease.” The film, which featured hits like “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” became the soundtrack for a generation and still is to this day one of the most successful musicals of all time.
Newton-John’s musical career spanned more than 60 years during which she recorded 28 studio and six live albums. She won four Grammys, had numerous number one hits and has sold more than 100 million records.
Your fight against breast cancer
Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, after which she began raising funds for research and promoting awareness of the disease. In 2012, a treatment and research center opened in Melbourne, the Olivia Newton-John Wellness and Research Center, whose services have helped thousands of people.
“Olivia was a visionary,” said Debbie Shiell, director of the center, at the memorial service. “She knew that cancer is more than just a physical journey – that to truly beat cancer you also need to support your mind and spirit. What we take for granted today was groundbreaking in her day. Olivia was a pioneer .”
In 2019, Newton-John was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia and Commander of the Order of the British Empire. But the awards never reflect the lasting legacy they left behind, Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins said. “She was an absolute pioneer,” he said at the funeral service. “You were the ultimate class woman. You left your mark on the world and made it a better place for all of us.”
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.