A state memorial for Olivia Newton-John took place earlier today (February 26) in Melbourne, with family and friends paying tribute to the late singer and actor.
Newton-John died in August having battled breast cancer since 1992. She was 73.
READ MORE: Olivia Newton-John – 1948-2022: girl-next-door who lived her best life to the end
During the state memorial ceremony, Sir Elton John said her “bravery and optimism” would stay with him forever (via the Guardian).
Appearing via a video link, John added: “She was such a wonderful force of nature, she was funny, kind, warm and talented and every time we got together we laughed and laughed and laughed. Throughout her career I have watched her grow and grow and grow to be the artist she became.”
“I just want to give thanks for a moment here. She really affected my life,” said Mariah Carey. “As a little girl, I loved her so much. Grease was probably the first movie I ever saw. I looked up to her so much and when I got to meet her, she was just as nice as she was a star.”
At today’s State Memorial Service in Melbourne, @MariahCarey paid tribute to her late friend, Olivia Newton-John. 🤍 pic.twitter.com/bkBDfJWPmZ
— Mariah Carey Australia (Fan Page) (@MariahCareyAU) February 26, 2023
During the memorial, Delta Goodrem performed a medley of Newton-John’s biggest hits. Speaking beforehand, she said that “being able to honour and celebrate Olivia is incredibly special.”
The ceremony also saw Hugh Jackman pay tribute to Newton-John alongside her husband John Easterling and daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
“My favourite thing to do was watch her watching the birds and the flowers, smelling her roses and the joy it brought to her face was a thing of beauty. I loved making her tea and then making it five times again until I got it right,” said Lattanzi. “I loved our snuggles. I would crawl into bed with her late at night, even if I was 20 years old. I loved the way she smelled. I love how she loved fully and completely.”
“As a country, you should be very proud and know that the whole world mourns with you,” said Dolly Parton. “Now, I had the honour of singing with her several times. I considered her a great friend as well as a fellow entertainer. Olivia, to quote one of your songs, ‘I honestly love you’. Thank you for shining your light on us.”
Last week, new footage of Parton performing with Newton-John was revealed.
The clip sees the pair singing Parton’s iconic ‘Jolene’ with the recording set to feature on Newton-John’s upcoming posthumous album ‘Just The Two Of Us: The Duets Collection’.
Following Newton-John’s passing, both Harry Styles and Pink performed covers of ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ in tribute while Coldplay were joined by Natalie Imbruglia onstage at Wembley Stadium for a rendition of ‘Summer Nights’.