Olivia Newton-John was a versatile artist with an appeal that spanned generations, and who played an important role in claiming a space for Australian popular culture on the world stage.
She was the rare performer whose career flourished through different phases, and who found success exploring many facets of her talent.
Born in Cambridge in 1948, Newton-John moved to Melbourne at age 6 (becoming one of a myriad of non-Australian celebrities wholeheartedly claimed by this country).
In her teens she started to build up her profile on the local performing circuits, also appearing on pop music television programme The Go!! Show.
Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John. And, I always will. (Just like this picture @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 pic.twitter.com/3nE8PVDFLy
— Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) August 8, 2022
In the 1960s, Australian musical acts saw moving to the UK as a vital part of their career progression. Newton-John became part of the steady stream of expats pursuing their music in “the mother country” after winning a talent competition that provided her with tickets.
When her friend Pat Carroll joined her, the two found success…