Olivia Newton-John has been America’s sweetheart from Down Under since she played Sandy in “Grease” back in 1978. She proceeded to wow us with “Xanadu” in 1980. Olivia has four Grammy’s and numerous other musical awards to her name. She has dedicated her life and talents to so many great organizations including Healthy Child, Healthy World, Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre and the award winning Gaia Retreat and Spa. She has been at the Flamingo in Las Vegas for three years with her very popular show that has just been extended through December. She has a new CD coming out next month and a world tour coming to Seattle. Olivia Newton-John will be performing at Snoqualmie Casino tomorrow, August 25th. Don’t miss out! More info here.She took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to Equality365.com about her new CD, music, touring, Vegas and just life in general.
Earle Dutton: Could you tell me a bit about your new album?
Olivia Newton-John: Sure, it is called “Liv On” and I recorded with my friends Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman. They are great friends of mine and incredibly talented. Beth is a very well respected film writer and singer. Amy is also a talented singer and co-wrote the album “Grace and Gratitude” with me. We go back a long time. The new album is sort of a conversation that started with us after realizing that all of us had gone through different loss and grief. We realized that there really wasn’t an album specifically talking to people about the process of grieving and getting through to the other side. The album kind of takes you through the journey of grief. Everyone has a different way of handling it and we can’t cover everything but we tried to cover most of the emotional aspects of it. I am really excited about it. We did a show of it and it proved to be one of the most moving experiences I have had as a performer.
ED: Are you playing some of the new songs in the show you are bringing to Snoqualmie Casino?
ONJ: I will add them in when the album comes out. People can’t get the album yet and I think that would be kind of frustrating for them. Once September and October hit, I will be adding a couple of the songs into the show.
ED: Can you tell us a little bit about the show you are bringing to Seattle?
ONJ: It is a fun show, of course. It is mainly my hits and I am very grateful that I can fill a show with those (laughter). I even had to drop some because I only have a certain amount of time. It is mixture of songs from my movies, from my country days, my pop days, and some rock’n roll. It will be all sorts of music from “Xanadu” and “Grease” and now I have added in a couple of environmental songs I wrote. It has been going really well in Vegas and I look forward to bringing it to you.
ED: Did I hear that you extended your residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas through December?
ONJ: Yes, I am here through December. This is my third year. It has been really wonderful. When people think of Vegas they usually just think of the strip and the crazy nightlife. There is so much beauty here though. I just love it.
ED: A portion of all the tour tickets sales go to benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre?
ONJ: Yes, exactly. A portion of every ticket has been benefiting the centre for three years now. Both the concert tickets and the meet & greet tickets help. It has been really nice. It gives me motivation knowing that every night I get to help the hospital.
ED: I think it could have snuck up on you but how does it feel to be celebrating fifty years as an entertainer?
ONJ: I know it is amazing isn’t it? It has kind of snuck up on me though (laughter). I can’t believe it has really been that long. I am so grateful that I am still singing and that people still come to the shows.
ED: How do you personally stay creative?
ONJ: It is just part of who I am. I love life. I love nature. I think creativity is an important part of life and healing.
ED: You have been in some amazing movies like “Grease” and “Sordid Lives”, do you have any new movies on your radar?
ONJ: No, not at the moment but I am taking time off next year after Vegas. I am hoping to have some time off and be creative in other ways. I want to do some painting, some photography and even some song writing. I love hanging out with my husband and our animals. I always think nothing is going to happen and then something pops up. It is always fun.
ED: Could you tell me a little about your Gaia Retreat and Spa?
ONJ: Yes, I would love to. That is a wonderful place my friend Gregg Cave and I founded about eleven years ago. It is a beautiful restful retreat and spa in the hinterlands of Byron Bay. It is such a beautiful area in Australia. It has a very spiritual aspect as well. We have the best organic food and amazing chefs. We also have amazing healers. I wait all year to go there. I come away completely refreshed. We have won tons of awards. We really opened it as a place where we would want to go and have our friends go. It turns out everyone wants to go because it is really lovely.
ED: Have any of your projects really surprised you with their popularity after the fact?
ONJ: I guess the fact that people still talk about both “Grease” and “Xanadu”. People still love them. I never would have dreamt that they would still be so popular.
Olivia Newton-John will be performing at Snoqualmie Casino tomorrow, August 25th. Don’t miss out! More info here.