Olivia Newton-John remembered as great teacher by Delta Goodrem

Olivia Newton-John was lauded by some of the biggest names in showbiz during the late singer’s memorial at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday.  

Mariah Carey, , Pink and  were among the A-list stars who shared their memories of the beloved icon, who lost her decades-long battle with cancer in August, 2022 at the age of 73. 

Dolly Parton, 77, opened the tributes, with the American country superstar sharing that, ‘the world lost one of its greatest talents when Olivia left us’. 

‘I know it’s especially painful for all the folks there in Australia since she is one of your own. As a country you should be very proud and know that the whole world mourns with you,’ Dolly said. 

‘Now, I had the honour of singing with her several times.I consider her a great friend as well as a fellow entertainer. Olivia, to quote one of your songs, I honestly love you. And thank you for shining your light on us.’ 

Olivia Newton-John was lauded by some of the biggest names in showbiz during the late singer’s memorial at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday 

American country superstar Dolly Parton (pictured) opened the tributes with joyful recollections.’The world lost one of its greatest talents when Olivia left us,’ she said

Mariah Carey (pictured) called herself ‘a friend and fan’ of the late singer

Mariah Carey, 53, called herself ‘a friend and fan’ of the late singer. 

‘I just want to give thanks for a moment here.She really affected my life. As a little girl I loved her so much growing up. Grease was probably the first movie I ever saw,’ the American pop superstar said. 

‘And then I got to meet her later and we performed together.I looked up to her so much and I loved her songs. When I got to meet her she was just as nice as she was a star, and talented, and I know she went through so much. 

‘Her humanitarian work – I just want to salute that and say that not everybody does that.We love you, we love you Olivia Newton-John.’ 

Elton John, 75, described Olivia, as ‘someone who I always looked forward to seeing’.

‘She was such a wonderful force of nature but she was funny, she was kind, she was warm and she was talented and every time we got together we laughed and laughed and laughed,’ the English musician said. 

‘Throughout her career I watched her grow and grow and grow to be the artist she became.I was able to participate in television shows and go to the Grease party in New York City at Studio 54, which was a hoot and we always had the best time.’

He went on: ‘The ONJ Centre in Melbourne is a testament to what she did for so many millions of people.She fought her disease with the most incredible courage and a bravery which stays with me forever. 

‘She was never down, she was always optimistic, she was fun, she was beautiful, she was kind. Those kind of people don’t come along very often, so we should treasure her memory and never forget what she gave the world.’

Elton John (pictured) described Olivia, as ‘someone who I always looked forward to seeing.’ ‘She was such a wonderful force of nature but she was funny, she was kind, she was warm and she was talented and every time we got together we laughed and laughed,’ he said

Nicole Kidman (pictured) recalled seeing Grease as a child and being inspired.’She was just a light in this world, which I think all of us feel and I grew up with her, listening to her,’ Nicole said

Nicole’s husband, country singer Keith Urban (pictured), described how Olivia was a ‘real light’

Nicole Kidman, 55, recalled seeing Grease as a child and being inspired.

‘She was just a light in this world, which I think all of us feel and I grew up with her, listening to her,’ the Australian actress said. 

‘I would perform her songs at school when I first saw Grease, I was like “I want to be Olivia Newton-John”.So to be able to pay tribute to her tonight is incredibly important to all of us. We all send you our love, Livvie.’

Nicole’s husband, country singer Keith Urban, 55, described how Olivia was a ‘real light’.

‘I first met Livvie in the late ’90s at a songwriting retreat.The first thing that struck me about her was she was exactly as I imagined she would be as a person. No pretenses, no façade just the real deal, warm, friendly, kind, interested. Just a light,’ Keith said.

‘Of course then she played a really big role in the night that my wife and I met.Nic and I met at an event in Los Angeles. Olivia was introducing me that night on stage. There she was part of our very, very beginning. For that and many more reasons she is always going to play a very, very special role in our life and place in our heart.’

He continued: ‘But the really extraordinary thing about Olivia is the legacy that she’s left, not only in music and film but her humanitarian legacy is extraordinary. 

‘That’s the kind of thing that will go on for generations and help millions and millions of people.For that and so many other reasons, I love you Livvie, we love you, we miss you, from all of us, thank you so much.’

Cliff Richard (pictured) discussed the close friendship the pair shared. ‘We kept in touch over the years a lot.In fact, just about three or four weeks before she passed on I called her – and of course every time I ever phoned her she would say, “G’day cliff, how are you darling”‘

Pink (pictured) called Olivia ‘an absolute angel’ and remembered meeting her on a handful of occasions.’She was one of the kindest most present just light-filled beings walking around this earth,’ Pink said

British singer Cliff Richard, 82, discussed the close friendship that the pair shared during Olivia’s lifetime.    

‘We kept in touch over the years a lot.In fact, just about three or four weeks before she passed on I called her – and of course every time I ever phoned her she would say, “G’day Cliff, how are you darling”,’ he recalled. 

‘People would say, “How is she?” We knew she was battling with cancer.I said, “I don’t know, she sounds the same good old gorgeous Olivia.” I thought, of course, having fought the cancer for 30 odd years she would be around for another 30, still battling and still strong,’ he continued. 

‘I’m afraid it was a terrible loss not just for me but for all of us.’

Cliff also spoke fondly of Olivia’s very close bond with her homeland of Australia. 

‘I have to say her heart was always in Australia, always,’ the pop singer explained. 

‘She went there regularly, and if I may, tonight, I’d like to rip my heart out and leave it with all of you and just say, “Olivia, you have done so much for us, just being the human being that you are.” I’d like to say, “God bless you, may you rest in the peace you so absolutely deserve. It was good to know you.”‘ 

American pop star Pink, 43, called Olivia ‘an absolute angel’ and remembered meeting her on a handful of occasions. 

‘She was one of the kindest most present just light-filled beings walking around this earth,’ Pink said. 

‘She always had a smile on her face to give you, and her career was incredible, but she will be very missed and my heart is with her family.I know this is an awful time and I hope that they find some comfort in just how universally loved she was’.

Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb (pictured) recalled meeting Olivia for the first time in the 1960s and described her as ‘a vision’ 

Hugh Jackman (pictured) admitted that as a young man he was ‘obsessed’ with Grease and ‘had a poster of Olivia Newton-John on my wall which I would kiss every single night’

Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb, 76, recalled meeting Olivia for the first time in the 1960s and described her as ‘a vision’ and ‘a beautiful lady.’

‘Making music with her was almost always the greatest pleasure, and I have to salute her courage, I have to salute her deliberate intention to keep going, to keep going no matter what, and she was a wonderful person because you never really knew, you never saw the problem within her,’ he said. 

‘What you saw was her vitality, her courage and you know I loved her then and I love her now.She was a vision and she is still a vision. God would like to hear her sing, I know that.’ 

Australian actor Hugh Jackman, 54, admitted that as a young man in fifth grade, he was ‘obsessed’ with Grease and ‘had a poster of Olivia Newton-John on my wall which I would kiss every single night.’

While working on a movie with John Travolta, Hugh shared the story of the poster, and John surprised him by introducing him to Olivia.  

‘I went into his trailer which is like the Four Seasons by the way that trailer.I walked in and sitting there at the table was Olivia Newton-John. And I literally froze and he said, “come and sit down”. I just stood there frozen, I was looking at a table with Danny and Sandy. 

‘I started gushing, I can’t remember all the things I said to Olivia, I told her about the poster kissing it every night, I could see her eyes glazed over and she said to John, “get this butter ball out of here.” It was a big moment for me’. 

Drag superstar RuPaul (pictured) called Olivia, ‘a great woman’ who possessed, ‘the talent, the beauty, the smile, and that sweet, kind heart’

Richard Marx (pictured) recalled how Olivia supported him as a young songwriter.’She was just the best. I’ll never ever forget her,’ he said 

Drag superstar RuPaul, 62, called Olivia, ‘a great woman’ who possessed, ‘the talent, the beauty, the smile, and that sweet, kind heart’.

‘So many great memories of Olivia.The impression she left on this world, and is still felt around the world is just amazing,’ she said. 

‘What a beautiful soul, songwriter, mother, actress, singer, that voice. I will miss her, but she has left a legacy that goes on forever, forever and ever.

‘So much fun just a great, great energy around her.That energy will live forever and ever. The music, the laughter and the joy she brought.’

Ru recalled: ‘You know, “http://nordizm.ru/ when I found out that she had moved on I was on a plane going to London, and I had to watch Grease. Watch it on the plane.At the end where she waves goodbye I just lost it, I just lost it. 

‘I’m sure everyone around me must have thought something terrible had happened. You know what, it was actually a beautiful thing. It was a beautiful thing. She left behind a beautiful thing.I love you Olivia, my friend,’ she concluded. 

American singer Richard Marx, 59, recalled how Olivia supported him as a young songwriter.

‘We met in 1984 and just clicked, we immediately hit it off and started spending time together.She was wanting to get into writing songs, I was a young and up and coming songwriter we did a little writing together, we just became pals and stayed friends forever,’ Richard said. 

‘She was just the best. I’ll never ever forget her.’

Australian pop singer Tina Arena (pictured) called Olivia, one of ‘Australia’s greatest’ legends

Australian pop singer Tina Arena, 55, called Olivia, one of ‘Australia’s greatest’ legends.  

‘She was a woman who I was very, very lucky to know on a personal level for a very long time, a woman who made an extraordinary contribution, not only to art, humanity but also her contribution to the research of cancer in Australia,’ she said. 

‘Today we say goodbye to you, Olivia.Thank you so much for the music, for the love, for the education in how to be an exquisite, exquisite woman. 

‘We love you, we will forever remember you and here is to your family and loved ones that you leave behind. 

‘But here is to the memory of this extraordinary human being, we love you so much darling, may you rest in peace and be dancing up there in heaven’.

 Elsewhere, Olivia Newton-John’s only daughter Chloe Lattanzi (pictured) admitted she feels like a ‘little girl lost without her mother’ as she paid tribute to the late singer at her state memorial.

‘I stand here before you so desperately wanting to feel strong and confident and speak eloquently, but the truth is I feel like a little girl lost without her mother,’ Ms Lattanzi said

‘She was my safe space, my guide, my biggest fan and the Earth beneath my feet.I know she is here standing beside me and within me. I can hear her voice,’ she continued

Ms Lattanzi went on to say her mum was the ‘perfect example of a life truly lived’ even if her life was tragically cut short by cancer 

Elsewhere, Olivia Newton-John’s only daughter Chloe Lattanzi admitted she feels like a ‘little girl lost without her mother’ as she paid tribute to the late singer at her state memorial.

An emotional Chloe, 37, was assisted by her husband James Driskill as she walked on stage and broke down in tears at Hamer Hall in Melbourne on Sunday.

‘I stand here before you so desperately wanting to feel strong and confident and speak eloquently, but the truth is I feel like a little girl lost without her mother,’ Ms Lattanzi said. 

‘She was my safe space, my guide, my biggest fan and the Earth beneath my feet.I know she is here standing beside me and within me. I can hear her voice,’ she continued. 

Ms Lattanzi went on to say her mum was the ‘perfect example of a life truly lived’ even if her life was tragically cut short by cancer.

‘My mum could find the beauty in everything,’ she said. 

‘I loved our snuggles.I would crawl into bed with her late at night even until I was 20 years old. I loved the way she smelled. Nothing felt safer to me. I loved writing music and singing with her and how she would always notice if I was slightly off key. 

‘I loved how she loved fully and completely.And I know that she would want me to tell each and every one of you how grateful she was for each individual special relationship.’

During an emotional tribute, husband John Easterling (pictured) described the ‘magical’ love he shared with his wife 

The 70-year-old spoke of the ‘supernatural’ love the couple shared, and the first moment he recognised her incredible talent 

During an emotional tribute, husband John Easterling described the ‘magical’ love he shared with his wife. 

The 70-year-old spoke of the ‘supernatural’ love the couple shared, and the first moment he recognised her incredible talent. 

‘You have to understand I wasn’t an Olivia fan, I didn’t know any Olivia music, I hadn’t even seen Grease and this was a small, intimate theatre in Miami and the lights went down and I heard Peruvian flutes and she started singing Pearls on a Chain,’ he said. 

‘And there was healing in the audience, people around me were crying.I got it. It hit me like a laser beam in the chest that Olivia was a healer and this is one of her mediums of healing.’

He also recalled the moment he met Newton-John.

‘I met Olivia through my friends Jim and Nancy about 30 years ago.And I remember she came to a presentation I was doing in Malibu.

‘Afterwards we talked for a while about rainforest ecology and national plants and medicines and recognised there was a lot of commonality in our thoughts and philosophies. 

‘The day got late and she asked me to stay overnight in the guesthouse and I did.’

Mr Easterling said their friendship developed over the following months before he finally asked Newton-John to be ‘my girl’.

‘It was pretty corny but I actually said those words,’ he said.

‘We were talking about how lucky we were to have found each other.And how in love we were. And how much happiness we were experiencing. We thought maybe we should feel guilty because we were so happy. 

He spoke of the ‘supernatural’ love the couple shared, and the first moment he recognised her incredible talent.Pictured together 

John and Chloe greeted guests at the state memorial in Melbourne

‘But we decided, we feel gratitude and just let the happiness run at full throttle.’

Mr Easterling said his late wife was the most courageous person he had ever met and described her as a ‘healer’ after watching how her music had brought people together.

‘Her bandwidth for genuinely caring about people, about animals and creatures of all kinds, eclipses almost what is humanly possible,’ he said.

The businessman became emotional as he recounted how Olivia proposed marriage to him. 

‘We ended up in Scottsdale on Valentine’s Day and I started a charade at dinner and the secret phrase was, “Will you marry me”.And she got “will” and she got “you” and I said rhymes with hairy. Then out of nowhere, she just said, “Will you marry me?” And I said “yes”,’ he said. 

‘She looked stunned for a minute and then started laughing and said, “You ratbag.” That is the story of how Olivia proposed to me.’

John also discussed where Oliva was most at peace. 

‘She’s been honoured by prime ministers and presidents and the Queen and recognised with every possible award and accolade for her talents. 

‘But what made her most happy was being at the ranch, being with the horses, being with the chickens and the dogs and the cat, or sitting in the courtyard just listening to bird songs,’ he said.

‘Every day with Olivia was supernatural.Every day with Olivia was a bit of magic,’ he continued.

‘I carry and feel Olivia’s presence, her sense of humour and spirit of adventure, the commonality of purpose we shared, and that gives me the strength to carry on until I find her again in that ultimate space of love and light.

‘At Olivia’s deepest essence, she was a healer, using her mediums of song, the words of touch.She was the most courageous woman I’ve ever met.

At her most difficult times, she always had the spirit, the humour and the willpower to move things into the light. And as her spirit soars, the pain in my heart is healed by the joy of her love and that love that shines forward,’ he concluded. 

Singer Delta Goodrem (pictured right) was among the many attendees who fought back tears as she paid tribute to Newton-John outside of the venue as she arrived shortly before the start of the memorial 

Goodrem described Newton-John as a ‘light for all of the industry’ who had ‘taught me so much’.’I’m so happy to see everybody coming together on a day to celebrate someone who touched all our lives,’ she said 

Singer Delta Goodrem was among the many attendees who fought back tears as she paid tribute to Newton-John outside of the venue as she arrived shortly before the start of the memorial. 

It is beautiful to see everybody coming out and…It’s beautiful,’ she told reporters.

Goodrem described Newton-John as a ‘light for all of the industry’ who had ‘taught me so much’. 

‘I’m so happy to see everybody coming together on a day to celebrate someone who touched all our lives,’ she said. 

‘I think that is really what it is.Seeing everybody just come together and being able to honour and celebrate Olivia is incredibly special.

‘She was a force for good. A force of nature. Strong and kind. My mentor, my friend, my inspiration, someone who always guided me…I love you forever.’

Speaking to Channel Nine, singer Dannii Minogue revealed she was able to tell Newton-John how she felt about her during her lifetime.

‘Olivia is so important to me. She is literally the reason why I started performing and I was lucky enough to tell her that the first time we met,’ she said.

Speaking to Channel Nine, singer Dannii Minogue (pictured) revealed she was able to tell Newton-John how she felt about her during her lifetime.’Olivia is so important to me. She is literally the reason why I started performing and I was lucky enough to tell her that the first time we met,’ she said 

Becoming emotional, the Australian pop star and television host admitted she was on the verge of tears. 

‘My hands are shaking.I’m all over the place,’ she said.

At the end of the state memorial,  took to the stage to perform a medley of Olivia’s biggest hits.

She kicked off the emotional tribute with Olivia’s 1980 song Magic, before moving on to Physical and Xanadu. 

She then launched into the classic You’re The One That I Want from the smash-hit musical Grease.

Delta changed pace, switching to Olivia’s country-influenced 1973 hit Let Me Be There, then transitioning to Hopelessly Devoted To You, once again from Grease.

The pop star closed her moving medley with 1974’s I Honestly Love You, where she asked the audience to light up Hamer Hall with their phones. 

At the end of the state memorial, Delta took to the stage to perform a medley of Olivia’s biggest hits 

She kicked off the emotional tribute with Olivia’s 1980 song Magic, before moving on to Physical and Xanadu 

She then launched into the classic You’re The One That I Want from the smash-hit musical Grease.Delta changed pace, switching to Olivia’s country-influenced 1973 hit Let Me Be There, then transitioning to Hopelessly Devoted To You, once again from Grease. The pop star closed her moving medley with 1974’s I Honestly Love You, where she asked the audience to light up Hamer Hall with their phones 

Newton-John moved to Melbourne from the UK at a young age and showed an early passion for performance.

Her big break was playing the role of Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, opposite John Travolta.

The film, featuring hits including You’re The One That I Want and Summer Nights, became the soundtrack for a generation and remains one of the most successful musicals of all time.

‘My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better.Your impact was incredible. I love you so much,’ Travolta posted online following her death.

‘We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever. Your Danny, your John!’

Newton-John moved to Melbourne from the UK at a young age and showed an early passion for performance

Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and began fundraising for research and promoting cancer awareness

Newton-John’s career spanned more than 60 years, during which she made 28 studio and six live albums.

She won four Grammys with numerous No.1 hits, and sold more than 100 million records.

Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and began fundraising for research and promoting cancer awareness.

A treatment and research hub in Melbourne, the Olivia Newton-John Wellness and Research Centre, opened in 2012 and its services have helped thousands. 

The director of fundraising at the centre, Debbie Shiel, described Newton-John as a ‘pioneer’. 

‘For 20 years Olivia wholeheartedly led every fund raising campaign to ensure people would receive the wellness program she knew would help them,’ she said at Sunday’s memorial.

In 2019 Newton-John was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia and also named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

She is survived by her husband John Easterling and only daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

Fans held up signs paying tribute to Newton-John with some 2,300 expected to attend the memorial service on Sunday

Christian and Richard Wilkins were among the stars who turned up to the memorial

Molly Meldrum also attended the star-studded event

Patti Newton was seen attending the service, wearing a necklace with her late husband’s name Bert attached to it 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was among the many guests

Human Nature singer Phil Burton was spotted at the event alongside manager Jennifer Fontaine

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