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PATRICIA SYAK | Music Olivia Newton-John to perform at Powers



Published: Sun, September 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Singer Olivia Newton-John will join the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra for a special night of music at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Powers Auditorium.

Tickets are available by calling the box office at (330) 744-0264.

Newton-John's appearance with the symphony will be part of her first symphonic concert tour visiting more than 20 U.S. cities.

Newton-John, who starred opposite John Travolta in "Grease," has won three Grammy Awards and eight American Music Awards. Her latest album, "Back with a Heart," a return to her easy country style, was released several months ago by MCA Nashville. "Back with a Heart" finds the world's girl next door all grown up.

Writing own songs

Though most of her songs until recently were written by others, the self-penned "Changes" showed her potential for writing songs, especially about topics that deeply concern her. Newton-John's successful battle with breast cancer in 1992 led to the creation of her album "GIAA: One Woman's Journey," her debut as a songwriter and spokeswoman for cancer awareness. On "Back with a Heart," which combines both pop sounds and new country tracks, Newton-John either wrote or co-wrote eight of the 11 songs.

Newton-John, whose breathy voice is known the world over, will perform such hits as "I Honestly Love You," "(Let's Get) Physical," "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Have You Ever Been Mellow," and such "Grease" duets as "You're the One that I Want" and "Summer Nights" when she performs in Youngstown.

History

Born in Cambridge, England, her mother, who was German, was the daughter of the Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born; her father, who was Welsh, was a professor of German at Cambridge and later Melbourne, Australia, where the family moved when Newton-John was 5. Despite the academic background, by the time Newton-John was 15, she had formed an all-girl band called Sol Four, playing local Melbourne pubs.

Her success in the United States began in 1973 with her album debut "Let Me Be There," which produced her first Top Ten single in the title track, with Newton-John being honored with a Grammy for Best Country Vocalist.

Her successes include three more Grammys, numerous Country Music Awards, American Music Awards and People's Choice Awards. In 1978, she starred opposite Travolta in "Grease" with the most successful movie musical soundtrack of all time. Other films include "Two of a Kind" with Travolta and "Xanadu" with Gene Kelly.

Newton-John has served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Program and recently was named Woman of the Year by the American Red Cross.

Promotional consideration for An Evening with Olivia Newton-John is provided by Mix 98.9 and Oldies 106.1.

XPatricia C. Syak is executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society.




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