During the Chicks’ concert at the Gorge in Washington state, singer Natalie Maines told the audience: “We lost a worldwide sweetheart last week, Olivia Newton-John… I thought I was Olivia Newton-John from like [ages] 4 to 12, and then I just wished I was Olivia Newton-John.”
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Maines said the trio and their supporting band had rehearsed the song earlier that day before launching into a performance of “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” one of Newton-John’s most memorable musical performances from “Grease.”
Newton-John — one of the top female pop vocalists of the ’70s, who starred in movies like “Grease” and “Xanadu” — died on Aug. 8 at the age of 73, after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time in 2017.
Although there are many candidates for the title of most popular Newton-John song, the Chicks’ top pick is right in line with Variety‘s critical take. “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was named as her best song in Variety‘s roundup of “25 Essential Olivia Newton-John Songs, From ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ to ‘Physical’.”
Immediately after her death, members of the music and film industry began showering the Newton-John family with love and shared cherished memories and admiration for the singer’s legacy.
Leading the tributes was Newton-John’s “Grease” co-star, John Travolta, who in an Instagram post wrote: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. 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 moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
Other musical tributes came from Mariah Carey who shared the stage with Newton-John in 1998 for a special performance of “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and, most recently, the cast of “Grease The Musical” at London’s West End, which dedicated the run of their show to the late actress.
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