Delta Goodrem has fought back tears as she paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John ahead of a state memorial service to celebrate the life of the late iconic singer.
The Australian singer fought hard to control her emotions as she described Newton-John as a ‘light of the industry’ outside Hamer Hall in Melbourne on Sunday.
The service comes six months after Newton-John died in August at the age of 73, after a brave and decades-long battle with cancer.
A livestream began half an hour earlier with a personal photo tribute showcasing her life under the spotlight and away from the cameras with family and children.
Some 2,300 people were expected to attend the service with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and showbiz legend Paul Hogan among the guests.
Goodrem apologised as she spoke about her mentor with the loss particularly painful for her after she played the singer in a 2018 miniseries.
Delta Goodrem has fought back tears as she paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John ahead of a state memorial service to celebrate the life of the late iconic singer
The Australian singer fought hard to control her emotions as she described Newton-John as a ‘light of the industry’ outside Hammer Hall in Melbourne on Sunday
A livestream began half an hour earlier with a personal photo tribute showcasing her life under the spotlight and away from the cameras with family and children
‘It is beautiful to see everybody coming out and… It’s beautiful. Sorry,’ she told reporters outside the venue.
Goodrem described Newton-John as a ‘light for all of the industry’ who had ‘taught me so much’.
‘I’m so happy to see everybody coming together on a day to celebrate someone who touched all our lives.
‘I think that is really what it is. Seeing everybody just come together and being able to honour and celebrate Olivia is incredibly special.’
‘Kath and Kim’ star Magda Szubanski said Newton-John had ‘transformed Australian society’ with not only her career but charity work and philanthropy.
‘What she did for health, for cancer, is just extraordinary,’ she said.
‘A really, you know, wonderful person and one of the most humble people you could ever meet.’
Goodrem was among the stars who shared tributes immediately following the news of Newton-John’s death in August.
‘A force for good. A force of nature. Strong and kind. My mentor, my friend, my inspiration, someone who always guided me … I love you forever,’ she said of the acclaimed singer following her death.
Newton-John moved to Melbourne from the UK at a young age and showed an early passion for performance.
Her big break was playing the role of Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, opposite John Travolta.
Newton-John moved to Melbourne from the UK at a young age and showed an early passion for performance
The film, featuring hits including You’re The One That I Want and Summer Nights, became the soundtrack for a generation and remains one of the most successful musicals of all time.
‘My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much,’ Travolta posted online following her death.
‘We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever. Your Danny, your John!’
Newton-John’s career spanned more than 60 years, during which she made 28 studio and six live albums.
She won four Grammys with numerous No.1 hits, and sold more than 100 million records.
Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and began fundraising for research and promoting cancer awareness.
A treatment and research hub in Melbourne, the Olivia Newton-John Wellness and Research Centre, opened in 2012 and its services have helped thousands.
In 2019 she was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia and also named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
She is survived by her husband John Easterling and only daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
The life of the Australian singer was celebrated by fans, stars and loved-ones at the free-ticketed service held at Hammer Hall in Melbourne at 4pm on Sunday
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