Born in Cambridge, England, but raised in Australia, Olivia Newton-John's father was Welsh, her mother German. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has had five Number 1 hits, ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles, and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums.
Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA. Her music has transcended genres including pop, country and adult contemporary.
At 14, Newton-John formed a short-lived all-girl band, Sol Four, with three classmates often performing in a coffee shop owned by her brother-in-law. She soon became a regular on local Australian radio and television shows including HSV-7's The Happy Show where she performed as Lovely Livvy. She also appeared on the Go Show.
She entered and won a talent contest on the television program, Sing, Sing, Sing, after singing "Anyone Who Had A Heart" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Newton-John was initially reluctant to use her prize, a trip to England, but travelled there nearly a year later encouraged by her mother to broaden her horizons.
Newton-John recorded her first single, "Till You Say You'll Be Mine..." in England for Decca Records in 1966. Newton-John was recruited for the group Toomorrow – conceived by American producer Don Kirshner who also created the Monkees. In 1970, the group recorded an album and starred in a "science fiction musical" film also named after the group. The project bombed and the group quickly disbanded.
Olivia released her first solo album, "If Not For You" in 1971. The title track, written by Bob Dylan, was her first international hit. Her follow-up record "Banks of the Ohio," was a Top 10 hit in England and Australia.
She was voted Best British Female Vocalist two years in a row by the magazine Record Mirror. She made frequent appearances on Cliff Richard's weekly show "It's Cliff Richard" and starred with him in the television movie, The Case.
In the US, Newton-John's career floundered after "If Not For You," until the release of "Let Me Be There" in 1973. The song reached the American Top 10 on the Pop and Country chartsmd earned her a Grammy for Best Country Female, and an Academy of Country Music award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. The song also propelled the album Let Me Be There to No. 1 on the Country Albums chart for two weeks as well as No. 54 on the Pop charts.
In 1981, Newton-John broke her mold as the "Girl next Door who you could bring home to Mom" when she released her most successful studio album, the double platinum Physical.
She also co-starred with John Travolta in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease which became one of the most successful films and movie soundtracks in Hollywood history.
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