The stars pay tribute to Olivia Newton-John at her funeral in Melbourne

Virgin Radio

27 Feb 2023, 07:34

Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey

Credit: Getty/Nine News

Also showing respect were Pink, Dolly Parton and many more.

Some of the world's biggest stars paid tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John this weekend.

Mariah Carey, Elton John, Pink, Dolly Parton and more shared their memories of the singer, who lost her battle with cancer in August, at the state service at Hamer Hall in Melbourne yesterday.

Dolly Parton, 77, opened the tributes with a video tribute to Dame Olivia.

"The world lost one of its greatest talents when Olivia left us," said Dolly.  

She continued, "I know it's especially painful for all the folks there in Australia since she is one of your own. As a country you should be very proud and know that the whole world mourns with you.

"Now, I had the honour of singing with her several times. I consider her a great friend as well as a fellow entertainer. Olivia, to quote one of your songs, I honestly love you. And thank you for shining your light on us."

Mariah Carey, 53, described herself "a friend and fan" of the late singer. 

"I just want to give thanks for a moment here. She really affected my life. As a little girl I loved her so much growing up. Grease was probably the first movie I ever saw," Mariah said. 

"And then I got to meet her later and we performed together. I looked up to her so much and I loved her songs. When I got to meet her she was just as nice as she was a star, and talented, and I know she went through so much. Her humanitarian work - I just want to salute that and say that not everybody does that. We love you, we love you Olivia Newton-John," she concluded.

Elton John, 75, described Olivia, as "someone who I always looked forward to seeing".

"She was such a wonderful force of nature but she was funny, she was kind, she was warm and she was talented and every time we got together we laughed and laughed and laughed," he said. 

"Throughout her career I watched her grow and grow and grow to be the artist she became. I was able to participate in television shows and go to the Grease party in New York City at Studio 54, which was a hoot and we always had the best time."

He went on: "The ONJ Centre in Melbourne is a testament to what she did for so many millions of people. She fought her disease with the most incredible courage and a bravery which stays with me forever. She was never down, she was always optimistic, she was fun, she was beautiful, she was kind."

He said, "Those kind of people don't come along very often, so we should treasure her memory and never forget what she gave the world."

Newton-John's fellow Australian Nicole Kidman, 55, recalled seeing Grease as a child, in which Olivia played Sandy Olsson in 1978, and how it "inspired her".

"She was just a light in this world, which I think all of us feel and I grew up with her, listening to her," said Kidman.

She continued, "I would perform her songs at school when I first saw Grease, I was like "I want to be Olivia Newton-John". So to be able to pay tribute to her tonight is incredibly important to all of us. We all send you our love, Livvie."

Cliff Richard, 82, discussed the close friendship that the pair shared during Olivia's lifetime.    

"We kept in touch over the years a lot. In fact, just about three or four weeks before she passed on I called her - and of course every time I ever phoned her she would say, "G'day Cliff, how are you darling?"," he recalled. 

"People would say, "How is she?" We knew she was battling with cancer. I said, "I don't know, she sounds the same good old gorgeous Olivia." I thought, of course, having fought the cancer for 30 odd years she would be around for another 30, still battling and still strong"

He concluded, "I'm afraid it was a terrible loss not just for me but for all of us."

Pink, 43, called Olivia "an absolute angel". 

"She was one of the kindest most present just light-filled beings walking around this earth," said the singer, currently number one in the UK official album charts.

She continued, "She always had a smile on her face to give you, and her career was incredible, but she will be very missed and my heart is with her family. I know this is an awful time and I hope that they find some comfort in just how universally loved she was".

And so the tributes continued. We can't say anything more prophetic than anything that has already been said, so we'll leave it here by saying goodnight to a legend.