Olivia Newton-John's life story in pictures

There's Grease. There's Xanadu... There's only one Olivia Newton-John!

When you think of Australian legends, Olivia Newton-John proudly sits at the top of our list.
There isn't much the 71-year-old hasn't achieved.
So in celebration of her incredible life and career, let's take a trip down memory lane through her best moments over the years.
ONJ through the ages. Getty

Early life and tip-toeing into pop stardom

Olivia Newton John was born in England on the 26th of September 1948 to parents Irene and Brinley Newton-John.
She is the youngest of three children, along with brother Hugh and sister Rona.
When Olivia was six, the Newton-John family relocated from the UK to Melbourne in 1954.
It was clear from a young age that Olivia was destined for something magical.
At 14, she formed her very own girl group and Olivia dabbled in TV.
Singing duo and besties Pat and Olivia in 1967.
It was during her time on Go Show, ONJ met Pat Carroll and John Farrar. Pat would go on to become Olivia's duet partner and John their music producer.
Her journey really began when she came first on Sing, Sing, Sing - a talent show hosted by the legendary Johnny O'Keefe.
Olivia's prize was a trip to the UK – which surprisingly she didn't want but her mum encouraged her to take a chance.
The aspiring songstress found moderate success in the UK and America after she released her first solo album, If Not For You, in 1971.
FUN FACT: Olivia's third cousin is British-Australian author Ben Elton.

Eurovision changes everything

Olivia at Eurovision. Getty
In 1974, ONJ was put on the world's map when she entered the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the UK.
Olivia sang Long Live Love and her ballad saw her come fourth.
FUN FACT: The Eurovision Song Contest's 1974 winners was Sweden's entrant ABBA. The Swedish dance icons sang Waterloo.
WATCH BELOW: See ONJ perform at Eurovision in 1974. Story continues after video.
1974 was a huge year for ONJ.
She released a new album with the single I Honestly Love You. It would soon become her signature song.
The year also saw her receive a bucket of wins including two Grammys, a Billboard award, and she was CMA's female singer of the year.
Like we said, big year.
FUN FACT: In 1979, Olivia Newton-John received the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.


Grease will always be one of ONJ's most iconic roles... Supplied
Her star power truly is something to behold.
Showing no signs of slowing down, everything changed dramatically in 1978 when Olivia starred alongside John Travolta in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease.
Becoming the year's biggest movie, it unsurprisingly made the duo into Hollywood mega stars.
The soundtrack spent 12 weeks on the top of the charts, and it gave Olivia three top five singles:
  • You're The One That I Want with John Travolta
  • Hopelessly Devoted to You
  • Summer Nights with John Travolta and the film's cast
Olivia's role in the film earned her a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination and an Oscar nod for the soundtrack.
Sandy and Danny are timeless. Supplied
ONJ with Stockard Channing aka Rizzo. Supplied

Then & Now: Danny and Sandy... 40 years on!

They're still the best of friends! Supplied
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Olivia sheds her girl next door image

Taking inspiration from Sandy's transformation from good girl to bad – Olivia was inspired to vamp up her image.
Olivia 2.0 featured a brand-new look, including a whole lot of spandex and some very raunchy hits including A Little More Love and Deeper Than the Night.
But the song that redefined ONJ was the double platinum single Physical - who knew working out could be so goddamn sexy.
Holy ONJ! From long shirts to short skirts...
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The year was 1981, and suddenly spandex became the international symbol for sex.
Olivia's jam created such a frenzy that the song was banned at some stations in the States!
In 2010, Billboard magazine ranked this as the most popular single ever about doing the deed.
She became a pioneer for lively videos clips with her unforgettable aerobics-themed clip.

Inside ONJ's romantic relationsips

In December 1984, Olivia married her boyfriend of four years Matt Lattanzi.
The couple met on the set of Xanadu and share one child – 32-year-old daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
Slightly short of a decade, the pair divorced in 1995.
Olivia with Matt.
A year after her divorce, Olivia met gaffer and cameraman Patrick McDermott.
The pair had an on-off relationship for nine years, up until he mysteriously disappeared in 2005 after fishing trip off the Californian coast.
Ever since 2010, there have been multiple claims that Patrick is alive and well, living in Mexico under his birth name Pat Kim.
Some believe he could have faked his own death after filing for bankruptcy.
Olivia Newton John with daughter Chloe and Patrick McDermott at the Mamma Mia! musical New York opening night in 2001.

Everything we know about Patrick McDermott

Olivia married her second husband John Easterling in 2008.
The pair had met 15 years earlier, but things only took on a romantic nature in 2007.
Olivia with her loved ones, husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe and son-in-law James Driskill.

ONJ's children

Olivia Newton-John with her only child, Chloe. Supplied
Chloe Lattanzi is Olivia Newton-John's only child.
FUN FACT: In 2015 the ONJ and Chloe recorded You Have To Believe- a re-imaging of her 1980 single Magic from Xanadu.
Speaking about the track, which became the first mother-daughter single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart, she said: "I met Chloe's dad on the set of Xanadu, so, without that film, Chloe wouldn't be here. She was the real 'magic' that came out of that film!"
The mother-daughter are exceptionally close. Getty

Breast cancer and her philanthropic efforts

Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, just days after her own father had passed away from cancer.
Following eight months of chemotherapy and a partial mastectomy, Olivia was cleared of the disease.
Sadly year in May 2017, tests revealed that she had a metastasised cancer tumour growing at the base of her spine.
The shocking news rocked Olivia and her family.
Last December, the Aussie icon shared a very positive update on her condition.
"I am no longer in pain and happy to say I am working again," she told Closer.
"When I get to sing the songs I love, it's like a gift," she revealed. "Being on the road with my band has been healing for me."
Olivia with her husband, John.
"Of course, it was scary," she admitted of being diagnosed with cancer again after successfully beating the illness 25 years ago.
"But the words that came to my mind were 'This too shall pass!' I just had to believe that I was going to be OK."
Since her diagnosis over 20 years ago, ONJ has been a strong breast cancer advocate - regularly speaking out, encouraging women to get checked.
In 2008, she took her dream one step further, creating the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.

Olivia Newton-John's thoughts on the Hopelessly Devoted To You mini-series

Olivia says she was initially "horrified" by the project, revealing: "I realised it was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not."
"I love Delta. I think she's a really good actress and a great singer so that made it okay, because we're friends", she told the Australian Women's Weekly.
"In the beginning she called me and asked, 'Shall I do it or not?' First I said, 'I'm not sure,' and then I said, 'Oh you do it'."

"I haven't read it and I don't know how accurate it is because it's a movie and people weren't there at every moment of my life but the money will go to the hospital [the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne] so some good has come of it."
Delta plays Olivia Newton-John in the upcoming miniseries.
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Despite her hesitations, Olivia chose to work with Delta to record music for the series' soundtrack.
All these years later, Olivia is still the one that Australia wants!