Olivia Newton-John battled cancer for 30 years

Till her last breath, Olivia Newton-John was a symbol of will power and hope.

Her family announced on 8 August on Facebook that the British-Australian pop star died peacefully at her ranch in Southern California after a 30-year battle with breast cancer.

She was 73.

The four-time Grammy-winning artist, who was also an environmental and animal rights activist, was first diagnosed of breast cancer in 1992 — the same week her father, Brinley Newton-John, died of cancer.

Her cancer recurred in 2013, almost the same time her sister Rona died of brain cancer.

In May 2017, Olivia’s cancer metastasized to her lower back, her third bout with the disease.

“Three times lucky, right?” she told The Guardian in 2020.

Olivia Newton-John was a four-time Grammy-winning artist who was also an environmental and animal rights activist. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY FROM FB/ OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN

Following her first diagnosis, she put up the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, an independent charity sponsoring global research on plant medicine for cancer.

After going through radiation therapy, she revealed using cannabis oil: “It’s really helped me with the pain, with sleep, with anxiety, and, I believe with inflammation.”

She also used it instead of morphine after fracturing her sacrum in 2018: “I’m totally off painkillers, I’m totally off morphine, and I attribute that to cannabis.”

Cannabis is legal in California where she resided. She lobbied the Australian government for its legal use to help other cancer patients.

“Medicinal cannabis is something that should be available to everyone who is going through a chronic illness or pain,” she told Who magazine.

In 1971, she released her debut single, Bob Dylan’s “If Not for You,” which she recorded with George Harrison.

And then the hits came one after the other: “Let Me Be There,” which won her the Grammy Best Female Country Vocal Performance; “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)”; “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “I Honestly Love You,” winner of the Grammy Best Female Pop Performance and Record of the Year.

Her career skyrocketed in 1978 with Grease, the 1950s-set film adaptation of the 1971 stage musical. She played vacationing Australian student Sandy Olsson opposite John Travolta’s greaser character Danny Zuko.

She’s one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records.

Newton-John is survived by her husband John Easterling, and daughter Chloe Lattanzi from a previous marriage.

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