In the face of breast cancer, country star turned pop singer and global celebrity Olivia Newton-John counts her blessings.
"I'm so lucky that I've been through this three times and I'm still here," she told 60 Minutes Australia. "I'm living with it. It's just reinforced my gratitude."
Newton-John first battled stage 4 breast cancer in 1992. She privately overcame it again in 2013. In May 2017, she learned that the cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.
"We know we're gonna die at some point and we don't know when it is," Newton-John adds. "When you're given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you're suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. The truth is, you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. So every day is a gift, particularly now."
Last year, Newton-John sold 500 items from throughout her career to benefit her cancer center in Australia. All proceeds went to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne.
The U.K.-born singer first rose to prominence in the states singing country and folk songs. Breakthrough 1973 single "Let Me Be There" earned her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocalist and the ACM Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. Over the next two years, Tanya Tucker and duet partners Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn recorded their own versions of the crossover hit.
Newton-John's success as a pop-country outsider upset traditionalists, especially when she won the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974 over the likes of Lynn and Dolly Parton. Eventually, changing times changed attitudes, and Newton-John became embraced by Nashville en route to global pop success and her definitive role in the film Grease.
This article was originally published in August of 2019.