Olivia Newton-John hailed as an ‘angelic voice’ following death aged 73

Soul singer Dionne Warwick and Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin were among those sharing messages.

Royal Variety Performance – Coliseum
Royal Variety Performance – Coliseum

Dame Olivia Newton-John has been hailed as an “angelic voice” who produced “stone cold classic” songs following her death aged 73.

The British-born singer died “peacefully” at her ranch in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends, her widower confirmed.

After news broke, famous names from the worlds of television, film and music paid tribute.

Dionne Warwick, who recorded a duet with Newton-John in 2006, tweeted: “Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir.

“Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her.

“She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father.”

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin recalled starring alongside Dame Olivia in the 1996 film It’s My Party, one of the first films to address the topic of Aids patients dying with dignity.

She said on Twitter: “I am SO saddened at the news of the passing of Olivia Newton John.

“I remember being so star struck when I met her at my first Hollywood gathering for Paramount.

“She was the sweetest and brightest light and I loved getting to know her on It’s My Party. RIP dear, sweet Olivia.”

US singer Richard Marx, who duetted with Dame Olivia, said he would “miss her every day”.

“My heart is broken. Rest now, sweet friend,” he wrote on Twitter.

“You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day.”

Hollywood star Antonio Banderas tweeted: “Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John. Deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.”

American filmmaker and actor James Gunn called her his “first real crush” and revealed he previously bought her home in Malibu.

“Really sad to hear about the passing of Olivia Newton-John,” he tweeted.

“My first real crush as a kid.

“I loved Grease & her music & I coincidentally also bought & lived in for a while the wonderful home she built in Malibu. May she Rest In Peace.”

US actress Rosanna Arquette, who won a best supporting actress Bafta for her performance in 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan, was also among those paying tribute.

She tweeted: “Fly with the angels Olivia Newton John.”

Filmmaker Edgar Wright, whose credits include Last Night in Soho and Baby Driver, added: “Olivia Newton John so completely dominated the charts and Top Of The Pops when I was a kid, it felt like she was pop music.

“And yes, Xanadu is still a stone cold classic song. RIP.”

Kiss co-founder and frontman Paul Stanley said in a brief tribute: “So very sad. She was everyone’s sweetheart.”

Actress Gabrielle Union described the impact on her of Dame Olivia’s performance in Grease.

“Grease is my #1 movie of all time and made me a lifelong Olivia Newton John fan,” she said.

“Me and my sister watched Xanadu more times than I could count.

“Sending so much love and prayers to a real gift of a woman and talent.”

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