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Olivia Newton-John headlines major festival, talks personal and career

Chicago, IL — This weekend, international superstar Olivia Newton-John takes the stage at Chicago's hottest street festival, Northalsted Street Market Days.

photo credit: michelle day
photo credit: michelle day
Prior to her arrival for the Chicago performance, Newton-John spoke with ChicagoPride.com in an interview to talk about Market Days, her work on the hit TV show "Glee", the newly opened Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, her favorite co-star, proudest moments and gay fans.

"To me love is love. It shouldn't matter. I have so many close friends and family who are gay I don't even think about it," she told ChicagoPride.com when asked about marriage equality (complete interview).

Her performance is scheduled for August 12th at 9pm at the north stage of the festival (Brompton and Halsted). The street fest takes place in the lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, most affectionally known as "Boystown," on Halsted Street between Addison and Belmont streets. Over 40 artists will perform on the festival's four stages, including music legends The Pointer Sisters and Sheena Easton, gay crooner Levi Kreis, gay pop artist Matt Zarley, Pussy Cat Doll Jessica Sutta, Karmin, Eric Himan and local favorites 16 Candles and Dot Dot Dot.

The complete interview with Olivia Newton-John can be found here.

About Olivia Newton-John

With a career spanning more than four decades, Newton-John is still a vibrant, creative individual that is adored by fans across the world. Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, the youngest child of Professor Brin Newton-John and Irene, daughter of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Max Born, Olivia moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family when she was five. By the age of fifteen, she had formed an all-girl group called Sol Four.

Later that year she won a talent contest on the popular TV show, "Sing, Sing, Sing," which earned her a trip to London. By 1963, Olivia was appearing on local daytime TV shows and weekly pop music programs in Australia. Olivia cut her first single for Decca Records in 1966, a version of Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine." In 1971, she recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You," co-produced by John Farrar, who she continues to collaborate with today.

Olivia's U.S. album debut, "Let Me Be There," produced her first top ten single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy Of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist and a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist. This proved to be only the beginning of a very exciting career. With more than 100 million albums sold, Olivia's successes include four Grammy Awards, numerous Country Music, American Music and Peoples Choice Awards, ten #1 hits including "Physical," which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks, and over 15 top 10 singles. (In September 2008, Billboard Magazine listed "Physical" at #6 on their Top 100 Songs Of All Time list and in 2010 listed it as "The Sexiest Song of All Time".) In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in "Grease" catapulted Olivia into super-stardom. This film's best-selling soundtrack featured the duets "You're The One That I Want" and "Summer Nights," with Travolta, as well as her mega-hit, "Hopelessly Devoted To You." To date "Grease" remains the most successful movie musical in history. Her other feature film credits include "Toomorrow," "Xanadu," "Two Of A Kind," "It's My Party," "Sordid Lives," "Score: A Hockey Musical," and "A Few Best Men."

Throughout her career, the much-loved star, who danced with Gene Kelly in "Xanadu," hosted the popular internationally syndicated "Wild Life" television show, was bestowed an O.B.E. (Order Of The British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 1979, has held many humanitarian causes close to her heart, particularly since the birth of her daughter Chloe in 1986. Olivia served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme and in 1991, the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund/CHEC (Children's Health Environmental Coalition) was founded after the tragic death of Chloe's best friend from a rare childhood cancer, with Olivia serving as National Spokesperson for ten years. Her devotion and shared commitment to CHEC's mission and goals enabled the organization to receive worldwide attention and support. (For more information visit www.HealthyChild.org).

In the 90's, Olivia successfully overcame her own battle with breast cancer, which inspired her self-penned and produced album, "GAIA," her most personal album reflecting upon her experiences with cancer. She used these experiences to gain greater self-awareness and became a positive inspiration to millions of people battling cancer. 

As a breast cancer survivor, Olivia has become increasingly well known and respected for talking openly about her battle with breast cancer and for promoting public awareness of the importance of early detection. Her personal triumph over cancer led her to announce her partnership with Austin Health and the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) on the Austin Campus in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. The ONJCWC provides a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research including a wellness center for the mind, body and spirit which opened last month (www.oliviaappeal.com).

Continuing her efforts to find a cure for breast cancer, Olivia launched the Liv Aid ®, a breast selfexamination aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly (www.Liv.com). Olivia credits her own breast self-exam as the first step to her eventual diagnosis of breast cancer. Now, 20 years later (and cancer free) she has become a passionate advocate in creating awareness for early detection and encouraging women to take a more active role in their breast health. 

In 1999, Olivia garnered an Emmy Award for her songwriting and returned to work as a performer touring extensively in the United States for the first time in seventeen years. In the new millennium, her international recognition has continued to grow. She was invited by the Vatican on behalf of Pope John Paul II to perform at the Jubilee Celebration for the Sick and Healthcare Workers and, she was thrilled to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics to an estimated global viewing audience of four billion people. Adding to this Olympic experience is what Olivia feels is one of her most memorable moments - the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch during the Olympic Torch Relay.

In 2002, Olivia was inducted into the prestigious Australian Music Hall Of Fame at the 16th Annual Aria Awards. Then, in 2006 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by friend John Travolta at the G'Day L.A. Gala. Her passion for Australia was proven once again when Olivia reunited with friend and business partner Pat Farrar to launch their distinctly Australian wines under the iconic homegrown brand Koala Blue, to proudly bring the "taste of Australia" to the rest of the world. 

In 2008 Olivia married Amazon Herb Company owner and founder, John "Amazon John" Easterling (www.AmazonHerb.com). Together they are spreading the word about the importance of preserving the Rainforest and, the health values found in the botanicals of the Amazon. In addition, they are working together with the ACEER Organization (www.ACEER.org) to help the indigenous people of the Amazon gain ownership and title to their land. In September 2009, they also joined forces with Prince Charles' The Prince's Rainforest Project (www.RainforestSOS.org) to further stress the global importance of preserving the Rainforest. 

In 2010 Olivia also appeared as herself in two episodes of the hit series, "Glee," adding another Top 100 hit to her credits with a new version of "Physical" sung with Jane Lynch. In October 2010 Olivia starred in the breast cancer docudrama "1 A Minute" and, the Canadian film "Score: A Hockey Musical." Her latest film, "A Few Best Men," was released in January 2012, garnering her some of the best reviews of her film career. 

Olivia released her first book, LivWise: Easy Recipes For A Healthy, Happy Life (Murdoch Books) in Australia in 2011. In LivWise, Olivia explains her belief in the importance of eating a healthy diet in order to maintain wellness and balance. LivWise will introduce readers to ways of eating and living that will keep them in good health and happiness and will be released in the USA and United Kingdom in 2012. 

In 2010, Olivia was also honored with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia from Governor General Quentin Bryce. In addition to starring in films and on television and writing books and music, Olivia continues to spend time in the recording studio. Her healing CD, "Grace and Gratitude: Renewed" (2010), which she co-wrote and produced with Amy Sky, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Magazine "New Age" chart. In addition, Billboard celebrated Olivia's new music by saying, "Newton-John is soulfully committed to every word she sings, and fans will be taken by the plush arrangements, melodic warmth, and of course, the artist's regal vocals."

The soundtrack to her new film, "A Few Best Men," features dance remixes of classic hits such as "Sugar Sugar" and "Daydream Believer" recorded by Olivia and remixed by some of the hottest club remixers in the world. In addition the soundtrack reunites Olivia with her longtime producer and songwriter, John Farrar, on the single, "Weightless." She is currently working on a new dance remix CD featuring some of her classic hits, as well new songs, and is set for release in 2012.

For additional information visit www.OliviaNewton-John.com or follow her on Twitter @OliviaNJ or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OliviaNewtonJohn.

The complete ChicagoPride.com interview with Olivia Newton-John can be found here.
 
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Looking forward to it. Thank goodness no exam the next day.
Posted by Jason Semenek on Mon, 8/6/2012 9:16 AM
I can't wait!
Posted by CPBill on Tue, 8/7/2012 10:13 AM
After ALL of these years.... FINALLY get to see her live! SWEET!
Posted by Chris Grace on Tue, 8/7/2012 10:14 AM
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