American singer, actress and activist Olivia Newton-John, who died on Monday aged 73, was a fashion icon before — and long after — the blockbuster musical “Grease.” A string of hit singles made Newton-John one of the biggest stars in the 1970s. She put a glamorous spin on the bohemian aesthetic, seemingly as comfortable in sparkling bodysuits and evening gowns as she was in bell-bottoms and miniskirts.
Newton-John’s appearance in the 1978 musical film Grease heralded a throwback to the 1950s, when she wore leather-clad outfits. However, off-screen Newton-John was ahead of the curve in the 1980s: she cut her hair shorter and wore brighter colors and helped establish activewear as a trend (while cementing headbands as one of its hottest accessories) with her unforgettable music video for 1981’s “Physical.”
Newton-John began her career in Hollywood in the early 1970s, showcasing her singing and dancing abilities in a number of films. She continued to act in productions such as Grease and Xanadu, but has also been involved with a number of charities for children’s health issues.