Olivia Newton-John: a life of awards, honors and advocacy
With a career spanning nearly 60 years, Olivia Newton-John has a raft of very impressive awards in music, film, and her public works
Generations have grown up with Olivia Newton-John looming large in our subconscious. Those of us who are old enough to remember her pop-country music to younger generations who will primarily remember her for her starring role in the film Grease.
Her list of achievements is impressive, with 10 AMAs, 9 Billboard Awards, 4 Grammys, and Country Music’s Female Vocalist of the Year on her resume, she was already a household name when the opportunity arose to act in a little Hollywood film.
On the back of Grease, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song (Hopelessly Devoted To You) and picked up a further four People’s Choice Awards. She was catapulted into that rarified air inhabited by the superstars and was given an OBE by the Queen.
Two years later, she had her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in later years, was recognized for her humanitarian and environmental work by becoming a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme and being awarded the Order of Australia.
The National Trust of Australia named Newton-John as a National Living Treasure in 2012, and she was elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia at the same time as the Queen made her a Dame of the British Empire.
A life of music and acting brought her into our homes and our hearts, but it is the work that she did to raise money for research and awareness for breast cancer that will be her lasting legacy.
First diagnosed in 1992, she spent the remainder of her life raising money for cancer research in the US and Australia. She was also a keen environmentalist, spearheading programs that sought to protect Australia’s basking sharks and even cancelled a concert in Japan in protest of the use of tuna nets that also killed dolphins. The Japanese government agreed to curb the practice if she would reschedule the engagement.
Advocating for children’s health and becoming known for her wholesome image, Newton-John was beloved by fans worldwide and is firmly ensconced in the Australian firmament as one of their brightest stars. She passed away at the age of 73 from breast cancer.
Here is a full list of her Awards and Honours.
Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards
American Music Awards
Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards
Country Music Association (CMA) Awards
Daytime Emmy Awards
Golden Globe Awards
Inside Film Awards
King of Pop Awards
1976 – Best Australian International Performer
National Association of Retail Merchandisers (NARM)
People’s Choice Awards
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme
Cadillac Concept to the world Humanitarian Award for breast cancer research
Red Cross – Humanitarian Award for breast cancer and environmental charity work
Women’s Guild of Cedar-Sinai Hospital – “Woman of the 21st Century” Award for breast cancer and environmental charity work
Environmental Media Association – “Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award” for increasing public awareness of environmental problems
Rainforest Alliance – Green Globe Arts and Nature Award for her contribution to the preservation of rainforests
Australian Recording Industry Association – Hall of Fame
Australia Day at Penfolds Black Tie Gala – Lifetime Achievement Award
Decatur Memorial Hospital (Illinois) – Humanitarian Award for her breast cancer awareness work from the
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “service to the entertainment industry as a singer and actor, and to the community through organisations supporting breast cancer treatment, education, training and research, and the environment”
American-Australian Association Black Tie Gala – Lifetime Achievement Award
Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, PA) – Valor Award for raising funds for cancer research
Project Angel Food – Marianne Williamson Founder’s Award for her commitment to breast cancer awareness
National Trust of Australia (NSW) - named a National Living Treasure of Australia
Music Victoria Awards of 2015 - Hall of Fame
Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours
Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette
Australian Women in Music Awards (Honour Roll)