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Grace and Gratitude Renewed
Olivia Newton-John
I made this album a few years ago, and people couldn't find it. - Olivia Newton-John
by Michael Shinafelt
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John (Credit: Michelle Day)

Olivia Newton-John, her name brings many things to mind - from her role as Sandy in "Grease" to the song that defined the '80's workout craze, "Physical."

In short, Olivia is a pop icon.

Recently, Olivia has added another facet to her career: spokesperson. Olivia is a breast cancer survivor and is on a mission to raise awareness and comfort levels by publicly discussing this very important issue.

This is also reflected on her latest CD, "Grace and Gratitude Renewed." Get ready to get real with the one and only Olivia Newton-John.

MS: Let's talk about your latest CD, "Grace and Gratitude Renewed."

ONJ: I made this album a few years ago, and people couldn't find it. My new record label, Green Hill, decided to take it and update it.

We put a new song on it, "Help Me To Heal". It is a reflection of what I was going through at the time, and what many others have gone through, too. Amy Sky and I wrote it in about 15 minutes. (Laughs.) It is one of my favorite albums.

MS: Your last album, "A Celebration of Song," which had duets with a lot of your friends on it, is inspirational as well.

ONJ: Thank you! Yes, that was such a fun one to do. The video for the song I did with Delta Goodrem, "Right Here With You," was a shot of a bunch of us hiking the Great Wall of China.

MS: Being a breast cancer survivor, your career has been on a spiritual path of late. I caught your appearance on the Wendy Williams show demonstrating your breast cancer examination kit, "Liv."

ONJ: Oh yeah (laughs), that was fun! "Liv" is a really easy-to-use self breast examination kit designed for monthly check ups.

MS: Cancer is something that touches everyone's life. It is an important thing to keep an open dialogue about. I caught your performance in Vienna of "Physical" for Pink Ribbon Night with the Chippendale's dancers.

ONJ: That was such a good time! They were such good sports. (Laughs.) I had a blast!

MS: The video was posted on your Facebook page. That's how I saw it.

ONJ: Oh, how fun!

Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John's "Grace and Gratitude Renewed"

MS: "Physical" is such an iconic song. It has been getting a lot of visibility lately, especially with the episode of "Glee" you did.

ONJ: That was so much fun! I was glad that I was asked to do it.

MS: It looked like you were having a blast!

ONJ: I was having a blast! It was like a real video shoot. They used two cameras and we shot until about one in the morning. It was great working with Jane Lynch.

MS: Speaking of how iconic your song "Physical" is, you are iconic for the movies "Grease" and "Xanadu," too. Most people don't get one thing like that in their lifetime.

ONJ: Yes, I am very lucky to have had the career that I have had.

MS: How's The Olivia Newton-John Wellness Center coming along?

ONJ: Really good, we've started building. It's well on its way to being up an running.

MS: That's great!

ONJ: I'm also doing an event in Tampa, Florida right now that my nephew is putting on called "Pink and Blue for Two." It's about breast cancer and prostate cancer. Men don't talk about prostate cancer much. It's like how speaking of breast cancer used to be. Talking about your prostate is kind of hush, hush and embarrassing.

MS: I know a few men who have had their prostate removed and are pretty casual about it. It's the way it should be.

ONJ: Right! That's a good thing. It's part of our bodies and who we are, it's nothing to be afraid or ashamed of.

MS: People should not be uptight about it.

ONJ: It helps to talk about it. "Pink and Blue" is great because it tries to get men and women to talk about cancer together.

MS: Thank You, Olivia.

ONJ: Thank you so much! Bye, bye.

Renew your grace and gratitude and log onto: www.olivianewton-john.com.

Michael Shinafelt
Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.
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