It’s not often the ARIA awards ceremony closes with an in-memoriam segment, but this year they made the exception for the late Olivia Newton-John.
Superstars Natalie Imbruglia, Tones and I and Peking Duk graced the stage to perform a medley of hits popularised by the Aussie icon, including Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re The One That I Want.
Watch the video above.
The trio were introduced on stage by Today Extra‘s Richard Wilkins, who was a good friend of Newton-John’s and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.
“There is just so much that could be said about Olivia, but probably the best way to salute her is through her music, right?” he told the crowd.
“As Liv’s daughter Chloe said, this tribute isn’t in memoriam, it is a celebration. So please, with a tear in our eye and a song in our heart, let’s celebrate the life and career of the magnificent Olivia Newton-John.”
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Earlier in the program, Chloe appeared via video link to say some special words about her mother.
“Hello Australia, hello ARIAs,” she began in the video package. “Thank you so much for doing this beautiful tribute to my mum. She was so grateful and so moved by all of the support that she received from Australia during her cancer battle.”
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“I just wanted to say thank you so much for remembering her so beautifully and I ask that you continue to remember my mum and honouring her by supporting the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre so that my mum’s dream can come true, a world without cancer.
“Please enjoy the night, live it up, have fun, enjoy the tribute and enjoy life like my mum did. Thank you so much.”
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time Imbruglia paid her respects to the Grease star. In August, days after Newton-John’s death following a long battle with cancer, the actress joined Coldplay on stage to sing a duet of Summer Nights with frontman Chris Martin – Newton-John’s famous duet with Grease co-star John Travolta.
Imbruglia also paid tribute to her icon on Instagram upon news of her death.
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“Devastated to hear of the passing of Olivia Newton-John,” the former Neighbours star wrote at the time. “When I was a little girl I used to close my eyes and sing her songs and dream of one day being on a stage somewhere, singing, just like her. She was magic. A huge inspiration to me and so many other young kids who where singing into their hairbrush.”
“The purity of her voice, her grace…and she sang from the heart,” Imbruglia continued. “She was and always will be a shining light in this world. ✨ My thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones at this very difficult time 💔❤️.”
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