Elton John Shared a Heartfelt Tribute to 'Grease' Star Olivia Newton-John on Instagram

·4 min read
Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Celebrities and fans are mourning the loss of actress Olivia Newton-John, who died at the age of 73 on August 8.

Famous for her work in music and portraying Sandy Olsson in the 1978 musical romantic comedy Grease, she endured a three-decade battle with breast cancer and died while at home in Southern California, according to an official statement from her family. She is survived by her husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister and brother Sarah and Toby, and more family members.

"Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends," John wrote on the Grammy Award winner's official Instagram. "We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time."

"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," he continued. "Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation."

Shortly after news broke about Olivia's death, celebrities began paying tribute to the legendary star. The most influential one came from her Grease co-star John Travolta, who lost his wife Kelly Preston to the same disease in July 2020.

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," he wrote on Instagram. "Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"

Singer Elton John shared touching words about Olivia alongside throwback photos of the two together.

"The saddest of news to wake up to," his post read. "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."

Hugh Jackman, one of Olivia's friends, also paid tribute to the Australian actress, writing about his admiration for her.

"I’m devastated to hear the news that @therealonj has passed away," he wrote on Instagram. "One of the great privileges of my life was getting to know her. Not only was she one of the most talented people I’ve known … she was one of the most open hearted, generous and funny. She was a one of kind spirit. It’s no secret Olivia was my first crush. I kissed her (poster) every night before bed. Her legacy will only grow stronger in the years to come. A fighter for healing from cancer that knows no bounds. I love you Olivia."

Julianne Hough, who played Sandy in Grease Live! back in January 2016, penned her own heartfelt message to the woman who originated the role. She also posted a clip of her singing Olivia's hit "Hopelessly Devoted to You."

"Like so many, Olivia has always been my hero," she wrote on Instagram. "Discovering her magnetic energy as an artist and actress came first but it was her heart that truly captured mine. Forever an icon and legend!"

Celebrity couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban came together to honor their friend, referencing one of Olivia's most famous songs to date.

"Livvie brought the most divine light into the world," their Instagram post read. "So much love, joy, inspiration and kindness ... and we will always be hopelessly devoted to you ❤️."

Other celebrities paid their respects to Olivia by posting on their social media pages.

Today show co-host Hoda Kotb wrote on Instagram how "heartbroken" she was over Olivia's death. "I'll never forget my interview with her," the NBC star wrote in part. "She kept asking questions about me. As i steered the conversation back to her... she turned it back again. That never happens. She was always all about shining the light on someone else. Now that light is all yours Olivia. Rest In Peace.❤️."

Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts also paid tribute on Twitter, writing, "Very sad news. Great admiration for how she bravely faced breast cancer. Condolences to her loving family and friends. 🙏💕."

Actress Jane Seymour expressed her sorrow for losing a "dear friend" who was incredibly talented. "I had the privilege of meeting her whilst living with her sister Rona when I first moved to the US. We became fast and lifelong friends," she captioned her post on Instagram. "She was not only a brilliant musician, actress, and singer but a wonderful mother, wife, and sister. ⁣⁣The world has lost one of its brightest lights.⁣⁣ I will never forget you Livvy.⁣⁣ Love always Jane."

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