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Olivia Newton-John to get state memorial in Australia

Screen legend Olivia Newton-John will be honored with a state memorial service in her adoptive homeland Australia, authorities said Thursday, touting an upbeat sendoff for the late Grammy-winning actress. The British-born, Aussie-raised star of the 1978 hit musical “Grease” died on Monday at her home in Southern California.

In this file photo taken on November 25, 1978 French singer Joe Dassin (right) and Australian actress and singer Olivia Newton-John record a TV show at the Studio des Buttes Chaumont in Paris.

The cause of death was not stated, but the 73-year-old Newton-John had spent three decades trying to-as she put it-“win over” breast cancer. Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews said Newton-John’s family had accepted the offer of a state memorial that “would be much more of a concert than a funeral”. “It will be an appropriate celebration of such a rich and generous life.”

A date for the memorial has not yet been set. Her widower, John Easterling, on Thursday posted a tribute to her and thanked fans for the “vast ocean of love and support” that has come with her passing. “She was the most courageous woman I’ve ever known,” he said. “In her most difficult times she always had the spirit, the humor, and the will power to move things into the light.” – AFP


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