Olivia Newton-John was originally supposed to start her “Summer Nights” residence in Las Vegas last year, but ended up putting it off after the death of her sister.
Now, with one more year since her sister Rona died from a brain tumor, Olivia is ready to pick up her career. The actress and singer started her residency, and said she is singing in her sister’s honor.
“I was supposed to start here a year ago, and I couldn’t sing,” Olivia Newton-John said. “Which was the first time for me that I ever thought that I couldn’t sing.”
Olivia’s residency showcases what she calls her “life journey through music,” and serves a higher cause as well. Proceeds from the performances will go to Newton-John’s cancer and wellness center in Australia.
While it was difficult to get back to the stage, Olivia Newton-John said she felt it was a good tribute to her sister.
“I feel she wants me to do it,” said Newton-John. “She always wanted me to sing, always encouraged me from when I was 15 to do that. So here I am, and yeah, it’s going to be special.”
The Las Vegas show runs the gamut of her career, including the No. 1 single of the 1980s, “Let’s Get Physical.” Though the song caused a stir at the time, Olivia said she now finds the controversy funny given how much further the envelope has been pushed.
“For me it’s about the music. If it’s a great song then it’s going to sell itself anyway,” Newton-John said. “But it’s a very competitive world. I’m so grateful I started when I did because these girls I think are probably pushed to get wilder and wilder to get noticed.”
Olivia Newton-John said started the Las Vegas show with a personal congratulations from an old friend, her Grease co-star John Travolta. When asked if the two would ever reunite, Olivia said, “I’d be up for it if he turns up.”