MANILA, Philippines—British-Australian singer-actress Olivia Newton-John arrived Friday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The four-time Grammy winner is performing on Saturday, March 31, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At age 63, Newton-John is still active recording, touring and acting in musical films. She also travels the world promoting breast cancer awareness, health (she co-owns a spa and has just released a cookbook), and other concerns.
She’s known in the music industry for reinventing herself a number of times. From a laid-back, country-pop star in the early 1970s (“I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “Let It Shine”/”He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”), she went on to star in the 1978 film version of the Broadway musical “Grease,” in which she sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “You’re the One that I Want” and “Summer Nights” (the last two with John Travolta).
In 1980 she again starred in a musical film, “Xanadu” (with Gene Kelly), whose soundtrack included her singing on “Magic,” “Suddenly” (a duet with Cliff Richard), and the title track with the Electric Light Orchestra.
A year later she released the studio album “Physical,” whose title track attracted controversy for its sexual content. She countered the mild backlash (two conservative American radio stations banned the single from their playlists) by filming a video of the song promoting exercise.
She successfully battled breast cancer in 1992 and wrote songs about dealing with the disease.
In a recent interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Newton-John said, “Music has always been my therapy.… It brings joy to many people on many levels. I love how music can inspire, heal and bring out many different emotions in people.”