The Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA) has announced that Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE will be inducted into the prestigious AWMA Honour Roll. She joins the inaugural AWMA inductee Helen Reddy, and Judith Durham AO.
The seemingly timeless singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and activist with a career spanning more than five decades is a four-time Grammy Award winner whose chart career includes five U.S. number ones and another ten Top Tens on Billboard’s Hot 100 and two Billboard 200 number-one albums.
She has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the highest-selling recording artists of all time. In 1978, she starred in the musical film Grease, with the movie soundtrack still one of the most successful in history. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta (You’re the One That I Want – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and Summer Nights).
Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner I Honestly Love You (1974) and Physical (1981) – Billboard’s top Hot 100 single of the 1980s – plus her cover of If Not for You (1971), Let Me Be There (1973), If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (1974), Have You Never Been Mellow (1975), Sam (1977), Hopelessly Devoted to You (also from Grease), A Little More Love (1978), Heart Attack (1982) and, from the 1980 film Xanadu – Magic and Xanadu (with Electric Light Orchestra).
Dame Olivia has been a long-time activist for environmental and animal rights issues, and an advocate for health awareness – specifically cancer. In addition to being the Champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in her hometown of Melbourne, Olivia recently launched the ONJ Foundation, an independent charity sponsoring global research into plant medicine for cancer.
These investments in new scientific research will educate patients and their caregivers about kinder options for treating cancer. She has received several Australian honours awards including the Companion of the Order of Australia and was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019 for her services to music, cancer research and charity.
Just last week, she was awarded Japan’s highest accolade, the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, in recognition of her decades long musical career and philanthropy.
“Olivia’s success as a recording artist secures her place, globally, as one of the all-time legends of contemporary music – a voice with a clarity and beauty that is deeply emotional,” said AWMA Founding Executive Producer Vicki Gordon.
“Olivia’s achievements as a musician and singer combined with her humanitarian work, determination and resilience make us so proud, and so excited, to name her as the 2021 AWMA Honour Roll recipient.”
Speaking from her home in the US, Dame Olivia said: “I am so grateful to be presented with this wonderful honour from Australian Women in Music Awards. I have been blessed to have had such a wonderful career with so many women who inspired me – from Helen Reddy to Nina Simone and Dionne Warwick.”
“Today more than ever it’s a joy to see so many talented female producers, songwriters and singers bringing their music and voices to today’s generation,” she said.
Earlier this year Dame Olivia had two #1 singles – the first, Window in the Wall, with her daughter Chloe Lattanzi (their second #1 together) and the hit remake of Put Your Head on My Shoulder with Paul Anka.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of her mega-hit song Physical with the release of Physical: Deluxe Edition – which reached the Top 5 on the Amazon charts, proving the song and album are as popular as ever.
Tina Arena will perform a special tribute to Olivia Newton-John at next year’s AWMA Concert, the highlight of the two-day event to be held in Brisbane on 17 & 18 May 2022.
“It’s exciting to see the wonderful work that the AWMA is doing to bring visibility to so many talented women – from First Nations and multicultural artists to producers, engineers, singers and musicians across all genres of music,” said Dame Olivia. “I’m honoured to be in the company of these amazing women.”
For more information about the Australian Women in Music Awards, visit: www.womeninmusicawards.com.au for details.
Image: Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE (supplied)