Olivia Newton-John, who played Sandy in ‘Grease’, dies at 73


“My dearest Olivia, you have made our lives so much better,” Travolta wrote in an online post. “Your impact has been incredible. I love you so much. We will see you on the road again and we will all be together again. Yours as soon as I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!

Physical, the peppy, R-rated hit released in 1981, was No. 1 for 10 weeks and was named Song of the Year by Billboard despite being banned by some radio stations. An aerobics-appropriate promo clip, shot in the early years of MTV, won a Grammy for Best Video.

Both musically and visually, she reinvented herself during these years. The blonde and always smiling Newton-John initially preferred light pop-country songs such as please sir please and Have you ever been sweet and soft breath ballads like I love you, honestly, which in 1975 won the Grammys for Best Female Pop Vocal and Record of the Year. But she picked up the tempo Fatespecially after Sandy ditched her white sweaters and blouses for waist-length black leather pants. Physical even made Newton-John blush when she told her future lover “There’s nothing more to say / Unless it’s horizontal” and finally shouted “Let’s be animals!” Animal!”

“I recorded it and suddenly I thought, ‘God, maybe I’ve gone too far!'” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2017, recalling how the song was suggested by manager Roger Davies. “I called Roger and said, ‘We have to release this song! He said, ‘It’s too late. It’s already been on the radio and it’s going up the charts. I was horrified!”

Fans flooded social media to mourn his death. “Farewell with love to the legend who will forever remain my first crush,” actor Daniel Dae Kim wrote. Tracie Thoms added: “Olivia Newton-John is an icon. She will be greatly missed. Gabrielle Union said she and her sister watched Xanadu “More times than I could count.”


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