Legendary pop singer and Grease actress Olivia Newton-John, who had long battled breast cancer, died on Monday. She was 73.
John Easterling, Olivia Newton-John’s husband, posted the announcement on her Facebook page around 1 p.m. PT on Monday.
“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time,” the statement began.
It continued: “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.”
According to Easterling, Olivia is also survived by daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall.
John Travolta, Newton-John’s co-star in the 1978 box-office smash Grease, mourned her death on Instagram on Monday.
“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote. “Your impact 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!”
Olivia Newton-John’s Battle With Breast Cancer
In May 2017, Newton-John discovered the breast cancer she had beaten 25 years ago had returned and spread to her lower back after thinking the pain she had been experiencing was from sciatica. While devastated to postpone her North American tour, the singer was back on the road again for months and determined to continue to connect with her fans through her singing and appearances onstage.
She said she was feeling much better after she was forced to postpone her tour after being surprised by an unexpected breast cancer diagnosis for the second time in her life earlier this year.
“I am no longer in pain and happy to say I am working again,” she shared in an interview.
“When I get to sing the songs I love, it’s like a gift,” she elaborated. “Being on the road with my band has been healing for me. Of course, it was scary. 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.”
“I talked to my body,” she said. “Depression suppresses your immune system. I tried to get my mind off my troubles by focusing on the things that I am passionate about.”
Newton-John has been vocal about overcoming her new battle with cancer since announcing the tragic news. She has continued to give fans updates on her progress and to promise them that she’s not going anywhere, insisting that she’s a “thriver,” not a “survivor.”
“A survivor sounds like someone clinging onto a lifeboat, to me. A thriver is someone that’s already off the boat and on land,” she explained. “I’m not going to be one of those statistics. I’m going to be fine. And I will probably deal with this in my life as an ongoing thing … You know, I got through this before and I can do it again.”
This is a developing news story.