วันอาทิตย์ที่ 9 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2550
By the age of 15, Newton-John had formed an all-girl band, Sol Four, and soon was a regular on local television (such as HSV-7's The Happy Show as Lovely Livvy) and radio shows in Australia. She entered a talent contest on the television programme Sing, Sing, Sing, hosted by 1960s Australian icon Johnny O'Keefe, and performed the songs "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." She won the contest and received a trip to England as the prize. Initially, she did not want to go, but her mother encouraged her to broaden her horizons.
By 1965, Newton-John was appearing on the local daytime TV shows and weekly pop programs in Australia. It was on the Go Show, where she met her lifelong friends, Pat Carroll and John Farrar. (Carroll and Farrar eventually married.) When she was 16 years old, Newton-John returned to England to live with her mother. Newton-John was homesick in England as she missed Australia and her then boyfriend, Ian Turpie (with whom she co-starred in an independently produced Australian telefilm Funny Things Happen Down Under). This changed when friend Pat Carroll also moved to England. The two formed a duo and toured nightclubs in Europe. After Carroll's visa expired, and she had to return to Australia, Newton-John cut her first solo single, "Till You Say You'll Be Mine" b/w "Forever," for Decca Records in England in 1966.
Newton-John was recruited for the group, "Toomorrow" — the brainchild of American producer Don Kirshner, creator of The Monkees. The group recorded an album and starred in a "science fiction musical" both named after the group released in 1970. The project failed and the group was quickly disbanded.
Newton-John released her first solo album, If Not For You, in 1971. The title track, written by Bob Dylan, was her first international hit (No. 25 Pop, No. 1 Adult Contemporary [hereafter AC]). Her follow-up, Banks Of The Ohio, was a Top 10 hit in England and Australia, but faltered in the US (No. 94 Pop, No. 34 AC). She was voted Best British Female Vocalist two years in a row by the magazine Record Mirror. She made frequent appearances on Cliff Richard's weekly show, It's Cliff Richard, and starred with him in the telefilm The Case. In the United States, Newton-John's career floundered after If Not For You until the release of Let Me Be There in 1973. The song reached the American Top 10 on the Pop (No. 6), Country (No. 7) and AC (No. 3) charts and earned her a Grammy for Best Country Female. The song also propelled the album Let Me Be There to No. 1 on the Country Albums chart for two weeks.
In 1974, Newton-John released her next album, Long Live Love. She represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest with the title track and placed fourth behind ABBA's winning Waterloo. The country success of Let Me Be There led her to release this album with some different, more country-oriented tracks in the United States as If You Love Me, Let Me Know. The title track was the first single reaching No. 5 Pop, No. 2 Country (her best country placement ever) and No. 2 AC. The next single, I Honestly Love You, has become Newton-John's signature song. The Jeff Barry/Peter Allen penned ballad became her first No. 1 Pop (two weeks) and second No. 1 AC (three weeks) hit and earned Newton-John two more Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Female. The success of both singles helped the album reach No. 1 on both the Pop (one week) and Country (eight weeks) Albums charts.
Newton-John's country success was reviled by purists who believed a foreigner singing country flavored pop music had no place in country music. Besides her Grammy for Let Me Be There, Newton-John was also named the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974 defeating nominees Loretta Lynn, Canadian Anne Murray, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker. Newton-John's win outraged many country artists leading to the formation of the short-lived Association of Country Entertainers (ACE). Newton-John was eventually supported by most in the country music community. Stella Parton, Dolly's sister, recorded Ode To Olivia and Newton-John recorded her 1976 album, Don't Stop Believin' (Olivia Newton-John album), in Nashville.
Encouraged by expatriate Australian singer Helen Reddy, Newton-John left England and moved to the United States. Newton-John topped the Pop (one week) and Country (six weeks) Albums charts with her next album, Have You Never Been Mellow. The album generated two singles - the title track (No. 1 Pop, No. 3 Country, No. 1 AC) and Please Mr. Please (No. 3 Pop, No. 5 Country, No. 1 AC). Newton-John's pop career cooled with the release of her next album, Clearly Love. Her streak of five consecutive gold Top 10 singles ended when the album's first single, Something Better To Do, stopped at No. 13 (also No. 19 Country and No. 1 AC). Although her albums still achieved gold status and usually charted in the Top 10 on the Country Albums chart, she did not return to the Top 10 on the Hot 100 or Pop Albums charts again until 1978.
Newton-John's singles continued to easily top the AC chart where she ultimately amassed ten No. 1 singles including seven consecutively - from 1974's I Honestly Love You through 1976's Don't Stop Believin'. She also continued to reach the Country Top 10 where she tallied seven Top 10 hits through 1976's Come On Over (No. 23 Pop, No. 5 Country, No. 1 AC) . By mid-1977, Olivia's AC and country success also began to wane. Her Making A Good Thing Better album (No. 34 Pop, No. 13 Country) failed to be certified gold and its only single, the title track, did not even reach the AC Top 10. Although the release that same year of Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits became her first platinum album, Newton-John's career was poised to head in new directions.
Newton-John's career soared after starring in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease in 1978. She was offered the lead role of Sandy Dumbrowski after a chance meeting with producer Allan Carr at a dinner party held by Helen Reddy in her Los Angeles home. Burned by her Toomorrow experience and concerned that she was too old to play a high school senior (she turned 29 during the latter 1977 filming), Newton-John insisted on a screen test with the film's co-star, John Travolta. Their chemistry was obvious and Newton-John happily, but cautiously, signed on. The film accommodated Newton-John's Australian accent by recasting her character to be Sandy Olsson - an Australian who vacations and then moves with her family to the United States.
The film was the biggest box office hit of 1978 and remained popular enough that it was re-released in theaters on its 20th anniversary in 1998. The soundtrack spent 12 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 and yielded three Top 5 singles for Newton-John: the No. 1 You're The One That I Want (with John Travolta), the No. 3 Hopelessly Devoted To You and the No. 5 Summer Nights (with John Travolta and the film's cast). The former two songs were both written by Newton-John's long-time producer, John Farrar, specifically for the film. Newton-John became the second female (after Linda Ronstadt in 1977) to have two singles, Hopelessly Devoted To You and Summer Nights, in the Billboard Top 5 simultaneously. She was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical and performed the Oscar-nominated Hopelessly Devoted To You at the 1979 Academy Awards. To this day, the soundtrack still sells several thousand copies per week and is a fixture on Billboard's Soundtracks chart.
Newton-John's transformation in the film from goody-goody "Sandy 1" to spandex-clad "Sandy 2" emboldened Newton-John to do the same with her music career. In November 1978, she released the pop album, Totally Hot, which became her first solo Top 10 (No. 7) album since Have You Never Been Mellow. Dressed on the cover all in leather, the album's singles A Little More Love (No. 3 Pop, No. 94 Country, No. 4 AC), Deeper Than The Night (No. 11 Pop, No. 87 Country, No. 4 AC) and the title track (No. 52 Pop) all demonstrated a more aggressive and uptempo sound for Newton-John. Although the album clearly de-emphasized country, the album still reached No. 4 on the Country Albums chart. Newton-John released the B-side, Dancin' 'Round And 'Round, of the Totally Hot single to country radio where it peaked at No. 29 (as well as No. 82 Pop and No. 25 AC). But, this became Newton-John's last charted country airplay single to date.
Newton-John began 1980 by releasing I Can't Help It (No. 12 Pop, No. 8 AC), a duet with Andy Gibb from his After Dark album. Later that year, she appeared in her first film since Grease starring in the musical, Xanadu, with Gene Kelly and Michael Beck. While the movie was a critical failure, it was ultimately profitable and its soundtrack was certified double platinum. The soundtrack boasted five Top 20 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 including Newton-John's Magic (No. 1 Pop, No. 1 AC), Suddenly (No. 20 Pop, No. 4 AC) with Cliff Richard and the title-song with ELO (No. 8 Pop, No. 2 AC). The film has since become a cult classic and the basis for a well-reviewed Broadway show in 2007. Newton-John received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of her career the following year.
1981 saw the release of Newton-John's most successful studio album, the double platinum Physical. The title track, written by Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick, spent ten weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 matching the then record of most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist held by Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life (song). The single was certified platinum and ultimately ranked as the biggest song of the decade. The album spawned two more singles, Make A Move On Me (No. 5 Pop, No. 6 AC) and Landslide (No. 52 Pop). To counter the overtly suggestive tone of the title track, Newton-John filmed an exercise themed video that turned the song into an aerobics anthem (and made headbands a fashion accessory outside the gym). Newton-John became a pioneer in the nascent music video industry by recording a video album for Physical featuring videos of all the album's tracks as well as three of her older hits. The video album earned her a fourth Grammy and was aired as an ABC prime time special, Let's Get Physical, becoming a Top 10 Nielsen hit. The success of Physical led to an international tour and the release of her second hits collection, the double platinum Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2, which yielded two more Top 40 singles: Heart Attack (No. 3 Pop) and Tied Up (No. 38 Pop).
In 1983, she re-teamed with Travolta in the critically and commercially unsuccessful Two of a Kind, redeemed by its platinum soundtrack featuring Twist of Fate (No. 5 Pop), Livin' In Desperate Times (No. 31 Pop) and a new duet with Travolta, Take A Chance (No. 3 AC). The same year, Newton-John and long-time friend Pat Farrar founded Koala Blue. The store was originally for Australian imports, but segued into a chain of women's clothing boutiques. The chain was initially successful, but declared bankruptcy and closed in 1992. Newton-John and Farrar would later license the brand name for a line of Australian produced wines and confections.
1985's Soul Kiss (No. 29 Pop) began a downturn in her music career as fans tired of Newton-John's raunchier image. Its only charted single was the title track (No. 20 Pop, No. 20 AC). After a three year hiatus to raise her daughter, Chloe (b. 1986), Newton-John returned with 1988's The Rumour. The album was promoted by an HBO special, Olivia Down Under, and its first single, the title track, was written and produced by Elton John. Both the single (No. 62 Pop, No. 33 AC) and album (No. 67 Pop) fizzled as the nearly 40 year-old Newton-John seemed "old" when compared to the teen queens Debbie Gibson and Tiffany (singer) ruling the charts at that time. The second single, Can't We Talk It Over In Bed, failed to even chart. (The song was remade the following year by Grayson Hugh as Talk It Over becoming his only Top 20 hit.) A year later, Newton-John recorded her "self-indulgent" album, Warm And Tender, featuring lullabies and love songs for parents and their children. This album also did not revive her recording career struggling to only No. 124 Pop.
Newton-John was primed for another comeback in 1992 when she compiled her third hits collection, Back To Basics - The Essential Collection, and planned her first tour since her Physical trek ten years earlier. Shortly after the album's release, Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer forcing her to cancel all publicity for the album including the tour. Newton-John received her diagnosis on the same day her father passed away. Newton-John recovered and has since become a tireless advocate of breast cancer awareness. She has been a product spokesperson for the Liv-Kit, a breast self-examination product. She is currently raising funds to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia.
Newton-John's cancer diagnosis affected the type of music she recorded. In 1994, she released Gaia: One Woman's Journey, which chronicled her ordeal. This was the first album on which Newton-John wrote all of the songs encouraging her to become more active as a songwriter thereafter. In 2005, she released Stronger Than Before which was sold exclusively in the United States by Hallmark. Proceeds from the album's sales benefited breast cancer research. The following year, Newton-John released a healing CD, Grace And Gratitude. The album was sold exclusively by Walgreens also benefitting various charities and was the "heart" of their "Body - Heart - Spirit" Wellness Collection. The collection also featured a re-branded Liv-Kit and breast health dietary supplements.
Newton-John's more spiritual, contemplative music was complemented by her pop oriented releases. In 1998, she returned to Nashville to record Back With A Heart. The album returned her to the Top 10 (No. 9) on the Country Albums chart. Its only single was a remake of I Honestly Love You produced by David Foster and featuring Babyface on background vocals that charted Pop (No. 67) and AC (No. 18). Country radio dismissed the song, although it did peak at No. 16 on the Country Sales chart. The album track, Love Is A Gift, won Newton-John a 1999 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song after being featured on the daytime serial, As The World Turns. Newton-John resumed touring in 1999.
Newton-John's subsequent albums were all released overseas primarily in Australia. Newton-John, John Farnham and Anthony Warlow toured as "The Main Event." The live album won an ARIA Award for Highest Selling Australian CD and was also nominated for Best Adult Contemporary Album. She and Farnham performed Dare To Dream at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2002, Newton-John released (2), a duets album featuring mostly Australian singers including Darren Hayes, Tina Arena, Jimmy Little, Billy Thorpe and Johnny O'Keefe as well as a heartfelt "duet" with the deceased Peter Allen. The same year, Newton-John was inducted into Australia's ARIA Hall of Fame. 2004 brought the release of Indigo: Women of Song, a tribute album covering songs by The Carpenters, Minnie Riperton, Doris Day, Nina Simone, Joan Baez and others. Newton-John dedicated the album to her mother who died the year prior.
Newton-John acted occasionally during this period. She appeared in a supporting role in the 1996 AIDS drama, It's My Party - her first feature film since Two of a Kind (1983 film). In 2000, she appeared in a dramatically different role as Bitsy Mae Harling, a lesbian ex-con country singer, in Del Shores' Sordid Lives. Reportedly, Newton-John will reprise this role in Del Shores' Sordid Lives - The Series from LOGO (Viacom's premium channel for the GLBT community) scheduled for 2008.
Newton-John has done some television work as well. She starred in the television movies A Mom For Christmas (1990) and A Christmas Romance (1994) - both Top 10 Nielsen hits. She guest-starred as herself in the sitcoms Ned and Stacey, Murphy Brown and Bette. She starred in the Showtime TV film The Wilde Girls with her daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi. In Australia, Newton-John hosted Wild Life, a show about animals and nature - two major interests for Newton-John. She also guest stared as Joanna on two episodes of the Australian series The Man From Snowy River.
Newton-John is scheduled to release her first proper Christmas album in Fall 2007. She previously released a Christmas album with Vince Gill through Hallmark and also released a compilation album of seasonal music recorded for various albums and television performances through the years.
From : Wikipedia
In 1979, Newton-John was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2002, she was inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame by the Australian Recording Industry Association.
In 2006, she was named an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia for "service to the entertainment industry as a singer and actor, and to the community through organisations supporting breast cancer treatment, education, training and research, and the environment".
From : Wikipedia
Newton-John was married to Matt Lattanzi from 1984 to 1995. They had one child during their marriage, a girl named Chloe Rose Lattanzi, born in 1986. Chloe has appeared in Newton-John's television films, "A Christmas Romance" and "The Wilde Girls," and intends to launch her own pop music career.
From 1996, Newton-John lived with gaffer/cameraman Patrick McDermott. However, on June 30, 2005, shortly before her new album Stronger Than Before hit stores, McDermott went missing following a fishing trip off the coast of California. The Coast Guard has not ruled out the possibility of foul play but concedes that they have few leads. Newton-John, who was on holiday at her self-owned Gaia Retreat & Spa in Australia at the time, is not a suspect.
Fox News Channel reported on June 4, 2006, that some witnesses claim to have seen McDermott alive and well in Mexico. A theory is that he staged his disappearance in order to avoid court proceedings brought by an ex-wife concerning child support payments. Newton-John has refused to comment on such speculation.
From : Wikipedia
Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England. Her parents were Brinley Newton-John and Irene Born (b. 25 May 1914). Irene was the eldest child of Max Born, a Lutheran German Nobel prize-winning physicist who fled from Germany with his wife in the 1930s in order to avoid persecution due to his and his wife’s part Jewish heritage. Olivia’s father, Brin Newton-John, from Wales, was an MI5 officer attached to the Enigma machine project at Bletchley Park, and the officer who took Rudolf Hess into custody when he parachuted into Scotland in May 1941. After World War II, he became a professor of German at the UNSW annex at Tighes Hill in Newcastle, Australia.
In 1954, at the age of five, Newton-John, her parents Brin and Irene, and her older siblings Hugh and Rona, relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where her father had taken a job at Melbourne University as the Master of Ormond College.
From : Wikipedia