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article imageOlivia Newton-John talks 'Don't Stop Believin'' memoir, 'Grease' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 23, 2019 in Entertainment
Veteran singer, actress, activist and entertainment icon Olivia Newton-John chatted with Digital Journal about her new book, "Don't Stop Believin'," as well as the 40th anniversary of "Grease" and receiving a Companion of the Order of Australia award.
She revealed that she is in good spirits. "I am doing really well," she admitted.
Her memoir, Don't Stop Believin', was released in March of 2019, where she opened up about her latest cancer diagnosis. "It was an interesting experience to write this book since it wasn't something that I planned on doing. It was fantastic and a lot of fun," she said. "I heard that they were doing a movie about my life in Australia and I didn't know what they were going to say. That inspired me to write my true version of my life."
While she has yet to see the movie (that was made about her life) herself, she was informed by her friends that it turned out "fine." For Newton-John, writing this book was a "cathartic process" since writing things down was very helpful for her and she was selective on what to include in the finished product. "The great thing about a memoir is that you have a choice of what you put in and what you don't," she said.
Her personal experiences with cancer over the years inspired her to create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre (ONJCWRC) in Melbourne. "I am going to auction off my pants and my jacket and other clothing from the movie Grease to raise money for my Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Australia," she said.
Earlier this year, Newton-John was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. "It was a very big honor," she acknowledged. "If they hadn't stopped using the name 'dame,' I would be Dame Olivia Newton-John. Unfortunately, I don't get the 'dame' title, but I get the post-nominals AC, hence my 'air conditioner' award," she said, with a sweet laugh.
She is also the co-owner of the award-winning Gaia Retreat and Spa. "It is doing amazingly well and it is winning awards all around the world. This spa was a dream and we've made it a reality. I am very proud of Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Warwick Evans and what we've created there. It is very special," she said.
In the summer of 2018, she celebrated the 40th anniversary of the film, Grease. "Isn't it amazing how 40 years have gone by? That was great," she said.
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
La Trobe University
Another proud moment for Newton-John last year was earning an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University in Melbourne, where she was recognized for supporting and developing cancer research in Australia. "That was a huge honor. I am an honorary doctor and I can actually put more letters next to my name. It was very nice to walk in that ceremony in a cap and gown," she said.
On the impact of technology on the industry, Newton-John said, "I just see the amazing leaps and bounds in technology and how you can reach people and communicate with them. I think social media is an amazing feature. We take so much for granted these days even with just picking up a phone. Now you can see people on your phone, and it is quite amazing."
A four-time Grammy winner, Newton-John noted the resurgence of vinyl. "This resurgence has been going on for a while now. A lot of people want to hear the original recordings, and I must say that the sound of vinyl was much more beautiful," she said. "I wish I kept all my vinyl. I don't think I did," she added, with a sweet laugh.
When asked if there were any moments in her career that helped define her, the veteran songstress and actress responded, "My career spans different styles of music and I see myself as a singer of not particularly one style of music."
For young and aspiring entertainers, Newton-John encouraged them to "not give up." "Be yourself because there is nobody else like you. There's a lot of other people like 'them,' and you don't want to be like them. The important thing is to maintain your own style and identity. Be real and stay grounded," she said.
On the key to longevity in the music and entertainment industry, she said, "I have been really lucky. I've had great producers and great songs, and I was part of movies that gave me visibility long after the films came out. I've had some great music and great writers in my life. I feel very grateful."
Newton-John defined the word success as "being in peace with yourself." "You can't measure it in gold. Success in life is about the people you love around you, and you can all be in harmony, so I feel successful," she said.
Her Don't Stop Believin' memoir is available on Amazon. It garnered a favorable review from Digital Journal, which described it as "inspirational." "Thank you to the fans that have bought the book already. To those that haven't I have an audio version," she said. "Thank you to all for the love and support and I hope they all enjoy it."
To learn more about Olivia Newton-John and her latest news, check out her official website and Facebook page.
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