Sunday, June 14, 1970

Musical Artist - Newton-John, Olivia

Newton-John in Xanadu
Olivia Newton-John is an Australian singer, songwriter, and actress best known for the string of hit singles she performed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Born in Cambridge, England, Newton-John's family emigrated to Australia when she was six. She returned to England as a teenager after she won a singing competition that included a trip to Great Britain as the prize. As part of the same prize, Newton-John recorded her first single at the age of eighteen, a song titled Till You Say You'll Be Mine, which was a commercial flop.

After the failure of Till You Say You'll Be Mine, Newton-John didn't record another single until 1971 when she released her debut album All Things Must Pass which resulted in considerable chart and commercial success. She followed this up with Let Me Be There in 1973, and on the strength of this album won the Grammy Award for Best Country Female and the Academy of Country Music award for most promising female vocalist.

After a brief detour to represent the U.K. in the Eurovision song contest (in which she placed fourth in the same year that ABBA won with Waterloo), Newton-John released the album If You Love Me, Let Me Know in 1974, which contained the single I Honestly Love You. This album garnered Newton-John two more country-oriented Grammy Awards and resulted in her being named the Country Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year.

Newton-John continued her chart success with the album Have You Never Been Mellow, but stumbled a bit with her next offering Making a Good Thing Better. Her career seemed to be stalled from 1976 to 1978 when she appeared in the film adaptation of Grease alongside John Travolta and produced the hit singles Hopelessly Devoted to You and Summer Nights.

Her career revived by her appearance in Grease, Newton-John scored success with her album Totally Hot, which produced a few more hit singles for her. She then appeared in the movie Xanadu, which was both a commercial failure and a terrible movie, but which featured a top notch soundtrack, including the songs Xanadu, Magic, and Suddenly. She reached her highest level of success with her next album Physical, with the single Physical becoming the top hit of the 1980s.

Newton-John continued to have substantial success through 1982, when she released her Greatest Hits, Volume 2 album, but after that her career kind of petered out. She released more albums, but none have had the same success as her earlier efforts or produced much in the way of notable hit singles. She collaborated with John Travolta on another movie project, but the resulting product was not well-received. Newton-John has appeared in several television shows in small parts, or as herself, as well as in the lead role for the made-for-television movies A Mother for Christmas and A Christmas Romance.

Over the course of her career, Newton-John has won ten American Music Awards, four Grammy Awards, and four People's Choice Awards. She has had five number one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and three number one hits on the U.K. Charts. She also had ten other top ten singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Olivia Newton-John has a website named The Official Olivia Newton-John Website. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet Movie Database.

Musical Monday Selections:

10/08/18: Magic
09/16/19: Physical
09/24/18: Xanadu with the Electric Light Orchestra

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