Olivia Newton-John: Embracing Life After Cancer, Anticipating Daughter’s Wedding

Olivia Newton-John, the iconic Grease star at 72, anticipates a fulfilling 2021. Alongside the release of a new duets album, she eagerly awaits her daughter Chloe Lattanzi’s marriage to James Driskill after a decade-long engagement, promising an intimate ceremony.

“I’m so lucky to still be doing all these things,” Newton-John says in an interview. “I don’t think I imagined living this long! I feel very blessed.”

Despite facing adversity, including a stage 4 metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, Olivia Newton-John remains resilient. Describing herself as “feeling great,” she, alongside her husband John Easterling, initiated the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.

The foundation aims to sustain research into plant-based treatments for cancer, reflecting her unwavering commitment to aiding others in similar struggles.

“I’m very lucky to be married to a wonderful man who is a plant medicine man, and he has great knowledge,” she says. “Now he’s growing medicinal cannabis for me, and it just has been wonderful. It helps me in every area.”

Olivia Newton-John and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi (Credit: YouTube)

Newton-John finds solace in the unwavering support of her daughter from her previous marriage to Matt Lattanzi, Chloe Lattanzi. Their already strong bond has deepened further during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they have quarantined together in California.

Chloe’s presence has been a source of comfort and strength for Newton-John throughout her cancer journey, fostering an even closer mother-daughter connection.

“I worked my whole life, and the longest period I can remember being home was my pregnancy with Chloe and the first year or two of her life,” says Newton-John. “So it’s been wonderful reconnecting with my baby. She is my reason to be.”

On January 22, Olivia Newton-John and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, aged 35, unveiled their latest collaboration, “Window in the Wall,” set to feature on Newton-John’s forthcoming duets album. The inspiration for the song came unexpectedly via email from a woman Newton-John had encountered years earlier.

“Out of the blue, she sent me an email saying, ‘I found this song, and I think you need to sing it,’” she explains, adding that she felt an instant tinge of dread. “I thought, ‘Oh gosh, I know it’s not going to be good. How am I going to tell her?’”

Olivia Newton-John (Credit: YouTube)

Upon hearing the song for the first time, Newton-John wholeheartedly embraced it, recognizing its resonance and agreeing to collaborate without hesitation.

“It moved me to tears,” she says. “It’s a very healing song. I thought, ‘This is very special, and I want to sing it with Chloe.’”

When Newton-John invited Lattanzi to join her on the track, Lattanzi’s response was immediate and affirmative: “Yes — no questions asked.”

“I was flattered and honored,” says Lattanzi. “She could have asked anyone, and she asked me. That meant the world to me. It’s my dream job — I get to spend time with my favorite person.”

Newton-John reflects that from the time Lattanzi was a young girl, she had a strong intuition that her daughter would inevitably tread the same musical path as her.

“She would sing and perform and knew the words to everything on the radio and every record,” she says. “And then she went through a shy period and didn’t want to do it as much. When she was about 13, we made a TV movie together and she sang ‘At Last,’ which is a classic Etta James song. It was so moving, and I went, ‘Oh boy, she has it.’”

Lattanzi’s musical journey includes the release of her 2016 studio album, No Pain, featuring a reworked version of her mother’s 1980 hit “Magic” from the film Xanadu.

Reflecting on her relationship with her mother, Lattanzi shares, “As a kid, I wasn’t paying attention to her as a celebrity. She’s my mom, you know? Like, she takes me to school. I think as I’ve gotten older, that’s when I got to listening to her music. I did a re-imagining of ‘Magic’ because I loved it so much.”

In addition to music, Lattanzi has also inherited some of her mother’s iconic style.

“When I was in my early teens, she had a closet full of costumes from her movies,” Lattanzi recalls. “I think one time she came home, and I was trying on the boots from Xanadu, like the big thigh-high cowboy boots. I wore them for Halloween, I believe.”

Newton-John adds with a fond recollection, “I know what you had! You wore the Xanadu tank top, and you didn’t realize it was special. She put it in the washing machine.”

As Lattanzi prepares for her upcoming wedding, she holds onto a valuable piece of wisdom imparted by her mother: “Don’t change for anybody because that’s not love.”

“She picked a good one,” Newton-John remarks. “So I haven’t had to say much!”

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