John Travolta, Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem pay tribute
“Whatever the words, whatever the melody, whatever the tune, there is that sense of hope and joy and love that really blasts through,” he said. “And that’s very much who she was.”
Kylie Minogue said she “was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways.”
“Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton-John,” she tweeted. “And, I always will.”
Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles said Newton-John’s death left the world “a little bit emptier”.
Speaking on ABC Radio National, Marles said it was “hard to imagine that she’s no longer with us”.
“For people of my generation who grew up with Grease … it’s one of these moments when you feel like an era has come to an end, and the world is a little emptier.”
Musician Delta Goodrem, who played Newton-John in a 2018 TV biopic for the Seven Network, described her friend and mentor as a force of nature.
Goodrem, who went through a battle with cancer when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just 18, said Newton-John was a source of guidance and inspiration.
“The whole world will feel this heartbreak today because the entire world felt Olivia’s unmatched light,” she wrote on social media.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull echoed Goodrem’s remarks, remembering the Australian’s “passionate … advocacy for cancer research and treatment.”
“You saved so many lives,” he tweeted.
Newton-John had multiple battles with cancer over her lifetime, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972, and then again in 2013 and 2017.
Debbie Shiell, the director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Melbourne, said her legacy would not be forgotten.
“It is because of her that the centre is here. There’s no two ways about it. This was her dream and this was her legacy,” she told the ABC.
At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, flags are flying at half-mast.
Similarly, singer Melissa Etheridge said Newton-John was”the first to reach out to me after my cancer diagnosis”.
Sir Rod Stewart, the British singer of the same generation, said she was a “great friend” with “a certain Aussie sophistication.”
“She was the perfect lady, gorgeous, with great poise,” he tweeted.
“Her spandex trousers in Grease were my inspiration for my ‘Do ya think I’m sexy’ era,” he added.
Flowers were piled up around her star in Hollywood as locals and tourists heard the news.