Olivia Newton-John to perform Feb. 23 at Luhrs Center
SHIPPENSBURG — The H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University will present, “An Evening with Olivia Newton-John,” at 8 p.m. Feb. 23.
Reserved tickets are $59, $55, $49 & $39 and are now on sale. A group discount is available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Luhrs Center Box Office at 477-7469 or online at www.luhrscenter.com.
Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, Newton-John moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family when she was 5. By the age of 15, she had formed an all-girl group called Sol Four. Later that year she won a talent contest on the popular TV show, “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which earned her a trip to London. By 1963, Newton-John was appearing on local daytime TV shows and weekly pop music programs in Australia. She cut her first single for Decca Records in 1966, a version of Jackie DeShannon’s “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine.” In 1971, she recorded a cover of Bob Dylan’s “If Not For You,” co-produced by John Farrar, who she continues to collaborate with today.
Olivia’s U.S. album debut, “Let Me Be There,” produced her first Top 10 single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy Of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist and receiving a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist.
This proved to be only the beginning of a very exciting career. With more than 100 million albums sold, her successes include three more Grammys, numerous Country Music, American Music and Peoples Choice Awards, 10 No. 1 hits including “Physical,” which topped the charts for 10 consecutive weeks, and over 15 Top 10 singles. (In September 2008, Billboard Magazine listed “Physical” at No. 6 on its “Top 100 Songs Of All Time” list, and in 2010 listed it as “The Sexiest Song of All Time”.)
In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in “Grease” catapulted Newton-John into super-stardom. The film’s best-selling soundtrack featured the duets “You’re The One That I Want,” and “Summer Nights,” with Travolta, as well as her mega-hit, “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” To date, “Grease” remains the most successful movie musical in history. Her other feature film credits include “Toomorrow,” “Xanadu,” “Two Of A Kind,” “It’s My Party,” “Sordid Lives,” “Score: A Hockey Musical,” and “A Few Best Men.”
Newton-John’s appeal seems to be timeless. With a career spanning more than four decades she is still a vibrant, creative individual who is adored by fans across the world. Throughout her career, the much-loved star, who danced with Gene Kelly in Xanadu, hosted the popular internationally syndicated “Wild Life” television show, was bestowed an O.B.E. (Order Of The British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 1979, and has held many humanitarian causes close to her heart, particularly since the birth of her daughter Chloe in 1986.
Newton-John served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme, and in 1991, the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund/CHEC (Children’s Health Environmental Coalition) was founded after the tragic death of Chloe’s best friend from a rare childhood cancer, with Newton-John serving as National Spokesperson for 10 years. Her devotion and shared commitment to CHEC’s mission and goals enabled the organization to receive worldwide attention and support.
Her charmed life has not been without its share of upset. In the 90′s, Newton-John successfully overcame her own battle with breast cancer, which inspired her self-penned and produced album, “GAIA,” her most personal album reflecting upon her experiences with cancer. She used these experiences to gain greater self-awareness and became a positive inspiration to millions of people battling cancer.
As a breast cancer survivor, Newton-John has become increasingly well-known and respected for talking openly about her battle and for promoting public awareness of the importance of early detection. Her personal triumph over cancer led her to announce her partnership with Austin Health and the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre on the Austin Campus in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia (www.OliviaAppeal.com). The ONJCWC will provide a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research including a wellness center for the mind, body and spirit and, opened on June 22, 2012.
In April 2008, Olivia led a team of fellow cancer survivors, celebrities and Olympians on a trek along the Great Wall of China and raised more than $2 million to find a new way to treat cancer and build the ONJCWC. A companion CD to benefit the ONJCWC as part of this global fundraising effort, “Olivia Newton-John & Friends: A Celebration In Song,” has been released internationally and features duets with Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Sir Cliff Richard, Richard Marx, Amy Sky, and Barry Gibb, to name a few.
Newton-John continues to give back to the community and has been acknowledged many times by charitable and environmental organizations for her ongoing efforts, among them: the American Red Cross, the Environmental Media Association, the Women’s Guild of Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center, the Rainforest Alliance and Concept Cure.
Continuing her efforts to find a cure for breast cancer, Newton-John launched the Liv Aid ®, a breast self-examination aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly (www.Liv.com). She credits her own breast self-exam as the first step to her eventual diagnosis of breast cancer. Now, 20 years later (and cancer free) she has become a passionate advocate in creating awareness for early detection and encouraging women to take a more active role in their breast health.
In 1999, Newton-John received an Emmy Award for her songwriting and returned to work as a performer touring extensively in the United States for the first time in 17 years. In the new millennium, her international recognition has continued to grow. She was invited by the Vatican on behalf of Pope John Paul II to perform at the Jubilee Celebration for the Sick and Healthcare Workers and she performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics to an estimated global viewing audience of four billion people. Adding to this Olympic experience is what Newton-John feels is one of her most memorable moments – the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch during the Olympic Torch Relay.
In 2002, Olivia was inducted into the prestigious Australian Music Hall Of Fame at the 16th Annual Aria Awards. Then, in 2006 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by friend John Travolta at the G’Day L.A. Gala.
In 2010 Newton-John appeared as herself in two episodes of the hit series, “Glee,” adding another Top 100 hit to her credits with a new version of “Physical” sung with Jane Lynch.
In addition to starring in films and on television and writing books and music, Newton-John continues to spend time in the recording studio. Her healing CD, Grace and Gratitude: Renewed (2010), which she co-wrote and produced with Amy Sky, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Magazine “New Age” chart. She is currently working on a new dance remix CD featuring some of her classic hits, as well new songs, and is set for release in 2013.
During the 2012 holiday season, Olivia and John Travolta reunited for the first time in over 30 years and combined their iconic voices for “This Christmas” (Universal Music Enterprises).Travolta and Newton-John donated the artist proceeds from the album equally to their respective charities, the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
For more information please visit www.OliviaNewton-John.com, or follow her on Twitter @OliviaNJ and Facebook @OliviaNewtonJohn.
Newton-John last performed at the Luhrs Center in November 2006 to a sold out crowd.
For additional information about the Olivia Newton-John performance, or other performances within the 2012-2013 Luhrs Center series, call the Luhrs Center Box Office at 477-7469 or visit the Luhrs Center website at www.luhrscenter.com.