Dolly Parton sad to have lost ‘my special friend’ Dame Olivia Newton-John
Dolly Parton says she is so sad to have lost her “special friend” Dame Olivia Newton-John, following her death aged 73.
The US country legend said she was “so happy that our lives crossed paths” as she joined those paying tribute to the actress and singer online.
The British-born singer died “peacefully” at her ranch in southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends, her widower confirmed.
After the news broke, famous names from the worlds of television, film and music took to social media to share memories and send condolences to her family.
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) August 9, 2022
Sir Elton John, Mariah Carey, and Gwyneth Paltrow were among those remembering the “beautiful and courageous actress”.
“So sad to have lost my special friend Olivia Newton-John,” Parton wrote in a statement.
“So happy that our lives crossed paths. I know her voice is singing beautifully with the angels.
“With Love, Dolly.”
Sharing a picture of the pair on Instagram, Hollywood star Paltrow wrote: “Olivia Newton John, I hope you know what you meant to us.
“You were a huge inspiration in many ways. I think I believed We Are Magic because of you.”
Rebel Wilson described Dame Olivia as “the most gorgeous woman inside and out” and “a true Aussie icon”.
The Australian comedian and actress said it had been “beyond an honour” to play her daughter Chloe Lattanzi in A Few Best Men.
“Seeing you star in the huge Hollywood blockbuster GREASE with your natural accent was so instrumental to me as a little girl, helping me to believe that it was possible for an Aussie girl to star in huge international musicals.
“You were the reason I auditioned for my high school production of GREASE at 15 – I was only in the chorus, but it was a start! You tried to teach me about health years before I took it seriously.
“You were so kind to me and it was such a blessing to know you Olivia.
“I’ll never forget us singing at the piano in our lunch break on set together – what a complete legend you are! I am so sad you are gone.”
Veteran singer Sir Elton shared a collection of photos of him and Dame Olivia together on Instagram as he remembered his “warm and loving friend”.
He wrote: “The saddest of news to wake up to. Olivia was a beautiful and courageous woman, who I never heard complain about her illness.
“A beautiful voice and a warm and loving friend. I will miss her so much. Condolences to her family and loved ones.”
Australian actress Delta Goodrem, who portrayed Dame Olivia in a biopic called Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You, recalled fond memories of the singer including a time they had met in New York when she was seven years old.
She also revealed that Dame Olivia had sent her a “beautiful letter” from the star when she herself had been diagnosed with cancer years later.
“There was something about everything, every moment she was an example of what it was to be a role model… and lead in kindness,” she told Australian news programme Sunrise.
“What she did for so many she continued to turn into this pillar of strength, this constant positivity and hope and that’s what people feel from her.”
Pop titan Carey recalled the “moment she will never, ever forget” when she got to perform Hopelessly Devoted To You alongside the Grease star in Melbourne, Australia.
She said she first “fell in love” with Dame Olivia’s voice as a child and felt “blessed” to be in her presence on many occasions.
Alongside a selection of photos of them performing together, the singer described her as “the kindest, most generous and lovely person she had ever met”.
I first fell in love with Olivia's voice when I was a little girl and heard "I Honestly Love You." Songs like "Magic," "Suddenly" and "Have You Never Been Mellow" showcased her beautiful airy tone and signature sound. And THEN there was GREASE. I was obsessed. pic.twitter.com/6fVfr74a5c
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 9, 2022
Sir Rod Stewart hailed his “great friend” as the “perfect lady”, adding that she was “gorgeous, with great poise and with a certain Aussie sophistication”.
The singer also revealed that her black spandex trousers in the classic last scene of 1978’s Grease were the inspiration behind his style in his Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? track released in the same year.
Oprah Winfrey recalled a dinner she had with Dame Olivia in 2019, remarking on how her positive outlook on her cancer diagnosis was “infectious”.
Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John. And, I always will. (Just like this picture @nfsaonline) She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. x ONJ4EVER pic.twitter.com/3nE8PVDFLy
— Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) August 8, 2022
Pop megastar Kylie Minogue said Dame Olivia “was and always will be” an inspiration to her.
“Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John,” the singer wrote on Twitter.
“And, I always will. (Just like this picture @nfsaonline) She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways.
“My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. x ONJ4EVER.”
I will never forget this night. I had the privilege of performing alongside Olivia Newton John for the Spina Bifida charity concert in Australia. She was warm, kind and caring to everyone backstage. She was the same every time we met. A true icon. Sad day 💔 #OliviaNewtonJohn pic.twitter.com/PLaLKezT51
— Peter Andre (@MrPeterAndre) August 8, 2022
Sharing a picture of the pair together, Peter Andre hailed her as “a true icon” who was “warm, kind and caring to everyone”.
“I will never forget this night. I had the privilege of performing alongside Olivia Newton John for the Spina Bifida charity concert in Australia,” he said.
“She was warm, kind and caring to everyone backstage. She was the same every time we met.
“A true icon. Sad day.”
Nancy Sinatra said although she had not known Dame Olivia personally, she had admired her for “the way she faced her health battles”.
I didn't know Olivia Newton-John personally but I admired her for the way she faced her health battles. Beautiful & strong, she fought to the end. My heart goes out to her family & all who love her. It's just not fair. Godspeed, Olivia. We'll always be hopelessly devoted to you. pic.twitter.com/X33Yj24SEE
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) August 9, 2022
“Beautiful & strong, she fought to the end,” she wrote.
“My heart goes out to her family & all who love her. It’s just not fair.
“Godspeed, Olivia. We’ll always be hopelessly devoted to you.”
Dionne Warwick, who recorded a duet with Newton-John in 2006, tweeted: “Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir.
“Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her.
“She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father.”
Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her. She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father 🥲🙏🏾♥️
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) August 8, 2022
US singer Richard Marx, who also duetted with Dame Olivia, said he would “miss her every day”.
“My heart is broken. Rest now, sweet friend,” he wrote on Twitter.
“You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day.”