Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed those plans Thursday (Aug. 11), just days after the superstar singer and actor died at the age of 73.
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“I’m so pleased that Olivia Newtown John’s family have accepted our offer of a State Memorial Service,” Andrews writes on social media. “We’re working with Olivia’s family on the details, but it will be more of a concert than a funeral – fitting for a Victorian who lived such a rich and generous life.”
I'm so pleased that Olivia Newtown John's family have accepted our offer of a State Memorial Service.
We're working with Olivia's family on the details, but it will be more of a concert than a funeral – fitting for a Victorian who lived such a rich and generous life.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 11, 2022
Earlier, Andrews confirmed that Newton-John’s niece, Tottie Goldsmith, the actor and former singer with pop group The Chantoozies, had accepted his offer of a state service on behalf of the family.
“This would be much more of a concert than a funeral,” he told reporters.
“As I said the other day, Olivia Newton-John was a very special person and to take her cancer journey and to turn that into more research, better treatment, better care and this focus on wellness, is such an amazing legacy and that’s why I think we all feel the pain of her passing.”
Tonight, landmarks across our city will be lit up pink to remember Olivia Newton John, and her enormous contribution to cancer awareness, research and treatment.
Vale Olivia Newton John.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 9, 2022
Goldsmith told free-to-air Channel 9 on Wednesday (Aug. 10) that the late artist would be buried in California, where she lived with her husband John Easterling.
Easterling, the plant medicine researcher, was one of the first to share the news of Newton-John’s death via Instagram on Monday, stating that she “passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends”.
Born in Cambridge, England, Newton-John relocated to the Victorian capital, Melbourne, as a child. Both countries embraced her, as she went on to a enjoy a hits-laden pop career with some of the biggest singles of the ‘70s and ‘80s, including “Physical,” “Xanadu,” “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights.” Those last three singles all reigned over the Official U.K. Singles Chart, and appeared on the soundtracks for films in which she starred, Xanadu and Grease, respectively. “You’re The One That I Want” is recognized as one of the Top 5 best-selling singles in the U.K.
Among the awards and honors Newton-John collected during her lifetime was an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, four Grammy Awards, she was appointed a Dame, and, in 2012, she was named a National Living Treasure of Australia by the National Trust of Australia.
Newton-John died Monday (Aug. 8) following a decades-long battle with cancer.
After being diagnosed for breast cancer in 1992, the disease returned in 2013. In 2017, she announced her breast cancer had recurred for a third time and had metastasized to her spine.
Following that initial diagnosis, ONJ became a tireless advocate for advancements in cancer research and treatment. Through her journey, she established the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre and created the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund to raise much-needed funds for different treatments and therapies to beat cancer, including plant-based medicine.