During the state memorial for Olivia Newton-John in Australia on Sunday (2/26), Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and Nicole Kidman joined many of her famous friends in sending a special video message. Others who sent messages included Mariah Carey, Elton John, Pink, and Hugh Jackman.
Dolly said in her message, “I know it’s especially painful for all the folks in Australia. She’s one of your own. And as a country, you should be very proud and know that the whole world mourns with you. I had the honor of singing with her several times, and I considered her a great friend, as well as a fellow entertainer.” She added, “And Olivia, to quote one of your songs, ‘I Honestly Love You.’ Thank you for shining your light on us.”
Keith recalled first meeting Olivia in the late 1990s at a songwriting retreat. He said in part, “The first thing that struck me about her was, she was exactly as I imagined she’d be as a person. No pretenses, no facade, just the real deal. Warm, friendly, kind, interested. Just a light, a real light.”
Newton-John also introduced Urban onstage at the event, where he met his wife, Nicole Kidman. He said, “And there she was, part of our very, very beginning. So for that and many more reasons, she’s always gonna play a very, very special role in our life. But the really, really extraordinary thing about Olivia is the legacy she’s left, not only in music, not only in film, but her humanitarian legacy is extraordinary. And that’s the kind of thing that will go on for generations and help millions and millions of people.”
Kidman also spoke during the video tribute, saying in part, “I grew up with her, listening to her. I would perform her songs at school. I remember when I first saw Grease, I was like, ‘I wanna be Olivia Newton-John!’ So to be able to pay tribute to her tonight is incredibly important to us.”
The memorial also featured Olivia’s husband, John Easterling, and her daughter Chloe Lattanzi, who both spoke.
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Before she died, Olivia was working on a duets album, and she and Dolly Parton recorded a duet version of Parton’s classic “Jolene.” Newton-John’s YouTube channel released a video for the recording, which can be viewed below. The late singer’s website notes this was the last song and video she ever recorded.