I am woman, hear me roar … In numbers too big to ignore
Australian singer Helen Reddy, who galvanised and gave energy to generations of women with her 1972 anthem I Am Woman, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 78.
Her family made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon (US time) in a statement posted on her official fan page.
Had long been suffering from dementia
She had been suffering with dementia for several years and living in an LA nursing home that caters to professional entertainers.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles,” the statement said.
“She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”
Overcame the male-dominated industry
Melbourne-born Reddy overcame a number of personal obstacles, as well as push-back from the male-dominated music industry, to become the first Australian to win a Grammy award in 1972.
She won it for I Am Woman and was also the world’s top-selling female vocalist in 1973 and 1974.
In all, she had three number one hits and 15 top 40 singles. She was popular around the world and sold millions of albums. In the US alone, her album sales topped 25-million.
Left school at 15 to tour with her family
Born into a family of performers, she left school at 15 to go on the road with them and, by age 20, she had married and had a baby daughter, Traci.
That marriage soon ended and in 1966 she moved from Australia to New York after winning a talent contest.
Eventually, after much lobbying by her second husband and manager, Jeff Wald, she recorded I Don’t Know How To Love Him from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar and this launched her career.
Quiet please, a lady is leaving the stage
Other hits included Delta Dawn, Angie Baby, Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) and You and Me Against the World.
As the news of her passing spread, the administrator of her official Facebook page posted: “Quiet Please, There is a Lady Leaving the Stage.”
You can bend but never break me … ‘Cause it only serves to make me …More determined to achieve my final goal