The world was saddened to learn in August that Olivia Newton-John died at the age of 73. Newton-John's husband, John Easterling, announced her passing and mentioned that the Grease icon died after battling breast cancer throughout a large portion of her life. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and was battling the illness on and off over the past three decades.
Her husband's statement, which was posted on Facebook, began, "Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family's privacy during this very difficult time."
"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," the statement continued. "Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org)." Even though her family did not mention her official cause of death, it stands to reason that Newton-John likely died due to cancer.
The singer was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. Unfortunately, it came back in 2013. In May 2017, Newton-John said that she was diagnosed with breast cancer again and that it had metastasized to her bones. Throughout her battle with cancer, Newton-John continued to work all while sharing updates about her health journey. She spoke to Australia's 60 Minutes in 2019 and told the outlet that she felt lucky to be alive amid her ongoing battle with the illness.
"I'm living with it. It's just reinforced my gratitude," Newton-John said, per PEOPLE. "We know we're gonna die at some point and we don't know when it is. 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." Newton-John is survived by her husband, Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, brother Toby Newton-John, and several nieces and nephews.