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Olivia Newton-John reveals what it was like to first hit it big in music and Hollywood

By in Press Enterprise on October 6, 2017

By Stephanie Schulte

Olivia Newton-John was just 15 years old when she started on the path to stardom and a lengthy career — something she’s been reflecting on recently.

“I’m writing a book right now so I’ve been thinking about things I haven’t thought about for a long time,” Newton-John said in a recent phone interview. “It’s hard to imagine that I did all of those things. It’s been a fantastic career, I’m very grateful and the fact I’m still going makes it even better.”

One of those memories was a chance meeting with two girls who were friends with a neighbor that began to open doors in the music industry.

“I became friends with them and we started singing and performing at a traditional jazz club on the weekends,” Newton-John said. “But then my mom put an end to it because it was interrupting my homework.”

Another opportunity to sing presented itself in the form of a coffee lounge her brother-in-law owned where she would sing alongside the evening’s entertainment.

Soon after, a boyfriend helped her land an audition on a national TV singing competition and, to her surprise, she won.

“I had no idea I would win,” she said. “I was like “Wow, wow, wow.”

First prize was a trip to London, and while she wanted to quit school and start accepting the television offers coming her way, her mother insisted Newton-John make the journey to London.

“I really didn’t want to leave Australia or my boyfriend,” she said with a laugh. “But my mom dragged me by my hair and I’ve thanked her ever since.”

Newton-John’s songs started charting in the early 1970s, with “I Honestly Love You” and “Have You Never Been Mellow,” the latter being a crossover hit from the world of country music into mainstream radio.

Then came her breakout role as […]    

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