by David Cohen

With a career spanning more than four decades, Olivia Newton-John is still a vibrant and creative individual that is adored by fans all across the world. Obviously, her appeal is timeless. Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, Olivia was the youngest child of Professor Brin Newton-John and Irene Born, daughter of Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born. When Olivia was five, the Newton-John family moved to Melbourne, 

Australia. By the age of 15, Olivia had formed an all-girl group called Sol Four, and later that year won a talent contest on the popular TV show Sing, Sing, Sing, which earned her a trip to London, England. By 1963, Olivia was appearing on local daytime TV shows and weekly pop music programs in Australia. In 1966, Olivia recorded her first single for Decca Records, a version of Jackie DeShannon’s "Till You Say You’ll Be Mine." In 1971, Olivia recorded a cover of Bob Dylan’s "If Not For You," co-produced by John Farrar, who she continues to collaborate with today.

Olivia’s U.S. album debut, Let Me Be There, produced her first top ten single of the same name. Olivia was also honored by the Academy of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocalist. These two prestigious awards marked the beginning of her very exciting career. 

With over 100 million albums sold, Olivia’s successes include four Grammy Awards, numerous Country Music, American Music and People’s Choice Awards, ten #1 hits including “Physical,” which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks, and over 15 Top 10 singles. In September 2008, Billboard Magazine listed “Physical” at #6 on their “Top 100 Songs of All Time” and in 2010 as “The Sexiest Song of All Time.” 

In 1978, Olivia’s co-starring role with John Travolta in Grease catapulted her into super-stardom. Grease’s best-selling soundtrack features the still popular duets, "You’re the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" with Travolta, as well as Olivia’s mega-hit, "Hopelessly Devoted to You." To date, Grease remains the most successful movie musical in history. Olivia’s other feature film credits include Toomorrow,  Xanadu, Two of A Kind, It’s My  Party, Sordid Lives, Score: A Hockey Musical, and A Few Best Men.

Olivia’s charmed life has not been without its share of challenges. In the early 1990’s, Olivia successfully overcame her own battle with breast cancer. This life changing battle inspired her to self-produce the album GAIA—an incredibly personal album reflecting upon her experiences with cancer. Her experience not only gave her the opportunity to gain greater self-awareness, but also to becoming a positive inspiration to millions of people who are also battling cancer. Olivia has become increasingly well known and respected for talking openly about her battle with breast cancer and for promoting public awareness of the importance of early detection. Her personal triumph over cancer led Olivia to announce a partnership with Austin Health in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, along with the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) on the Austin Campus. The ONJCWC not only provides a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research, but also includes a wellness center for the mind, body and spirit.

After being absent from the U.S. Country charts for almost 20 years, Olivia released Back With A Heart in 1998. In 1999, she was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song – "Love Is A Gift" after being featured on the daytime serial As the World Turns. After a 17 year absence, Olivia once again began performing and touring in the United States. 

The new millennium has once again brought Olivia international recognition that continues to grow.  Among numerous other awards, Olivia received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, presented by her long-time friend John Travolta at the G’Day L.A. Gala. Olivia’s 2007 holiday recording, Christmas Wish features both new and classic holiday favorites and duets with such Grammy winners as Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, David Foster and Jon Secada, and was called one of the “Best Holiday CDs of 2007” by USA Today. In 2008, Olivia began co-hosting and co-producing the PBS series Healing Quest. In the series she reprised her film role of Bitsy Mae Harling from Sordid Lives to rave reviews. In 2010, Olivia also appeared as herself in two episodes of the hit series Glee, adding another Top 100 hit to her credits with a new version of “Physical” sung with Jane Lynch. In October 2010 Olivia starred in the breast cancer docudrama 1 A Minute and the Canadian film Score: A Hockey Musical. Her latest film  A Few Best Men was released in January 2012, garnering her some of the best reviews of her film career.

The soundtrack to A Few Best Men features dance remixes of classic hits such as “Sugar Sugar” and “Daydream Believer” recorded by Olivia and remixed by some of the hottest club remixers in the world. In addition, the soundtrack reunites Olivia with her longtime producer and songwriter John Farrar on the single “Weightless.”

Adding author to her already impressive list of accomplishments, Olivia's released a cookbook earlier this year entitled LivWise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life with all of the royalties benefiting her Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre  in Melbourne, Australia. As a breast cancer “thriver,” Olivia is thrilled that the Centre opened its doors to patients on July 2, 2012 - almost 20 years to the day from her own cancer diagnosis. With her current ongoing projects and philanthropic endeavors, Olivia’s worldwide popularity is as strong as ever!

Olivia Newton-John will perform at the main stage at Northasted Market Days in Chicago, on Sunday, August 11, 2012 at 8 p.m. She will return to San Francisco for a rare one-night-only concert appearance on September 13 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre. Produced by Rick Bartalini Presents, this will be Newton-John's only Northern California appearance and first performance in San Francisco in nearly a decade.