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Newton-John husband pays tribute as family accepts state ‘concert’ memorial

A state service for Olivia Newton-John in Australia is expected to be more concert than a traditional memorial while the performer’s husband pays tribute to the ”most courageous woman”.


August 11, 2022
By Mike Bedigan and AAP
11 August 2022

Olivia Newton-John’s family has accepted the offer of a state memorial service in her home state in Australia.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that Newton-John’s niece Tottie Goldsmith had accepted the offer on the family’s behalf.

Andrews said it would be more of a concert rather than a traditional service. 

“The family was quite touched at the prospect of Victorians being able to come together and celebrate Olivia’s life,” he said on Thursday.

Confirmation of the state funeral for Newton-John came as her husband paid a heartfelt tribute to the singer-actor, who died in her sleep at her California home on Monday aged 73.

Newton-John, best known for her role of Sandy alongside John Travolta in the 1978 smash movie musical Grease, had endured a recurring battle with breast cancer.

Husband John Easterling said the pair’s love for one another “transcends our understanding” and that Newton-John had been “the most courageous woman I have ever known” and that her caring nature “almost eclipses what is humanly possible”.

Sharing news of her death on social media, Easterling said she had passed away “peacefully”, surrounded by family and friends.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by John Easterling (@therealamazonjohn)

In a new post, shared from Newton-John’s account on Wednesday, he thanked fans for “the ocean of support that has come our way.”

“Our love for each other transcends our understanding,” he captioned a picture of himself and his late wife.

“Every day we expressed our gratitude for this love that could be so deep, so real, so natural. We never had to ‘work’ on it.

“We were in awe of this great mystery and accepted the experience of our love as past, present and forever.”

He continued: “At Olivia’s deepest essence she was a healer using her mediums of song, of words, of touch.

“She was the most courageous woman I’ve ever known.

“Her bandwidth for genuinely caring for people, for nature and all creatures almost eclipses what is humanely possible.

“It is only the grace of God that has allowed me to share the depth and passion of her being for so long.


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A post shared by Olivia Newton-John (@therealonj)

“In her most difficult times she always had the spirit, the humor, and the will power to move things into the light.

“Even now as her soul soars, the pain and holes in my heart are healed with the joy of her love and the light that shines forward.”

Signing off, he added: “Our family deeply appreciates the vast ocean of love and support that has come our way.

“Onward Ho, John Easterling.”

Following news of her death, famous faces across the creative industries including John Travolta, Dolly Parton, Sir Elton John and Kylie Minogue paid tribute.


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A post shared by John Travolta (@johntravolta)

The cast of the current production of Grease The Musical on London’s West End have dedicated the entire rest of the run to her memory and said they were honoured to “follow in her footsteps each night”.

Aside from her hit role in Grease, Newton-John was also a multi-platinum selling artist, with two singles and two albums having earned certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

She is survived by her husband as well as her daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

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