Australia’s music legends gathered at the 2022 ARIA Awards on Thursday, November 24 for a night of glitz and glam, and to celebrate those in the industry whose artistry has outshone all the rest.
While the ceremony celebrated numerous homegrown talents, the event also took a moment to remember the lives and legacies of artists we have lost this year such as Grease sweetheart Olivia Newton-John.
Kick-starting the sentimental tribute was a heartwrenching video message from Newton-John’s on-screen love interest and fellow Grease star John Travolta.
“I love you Liv. I honestly love you,” he said.
Travolta’s message was followed by a musical medley of Newton-John’s iconic songs. The tribute was led by singer Natalie Imbruglia who performed Hopelessly Devoted To You and was later joined by other young Aussie artists who sang Xanadu and finished with a group rendition of You’re The One That I Want.
Newton-John’s only daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, also shared a tearful message during the ceremony.
Fighting back tears the 36-year-old thanked ARIA organisers and artists for “continually remembering” her mum.
She went on to say that her mum was “grateful and moved by all the support she received during her cancer battle” and asked everyone to continue supporting the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre so that her “mum’s dream can come true — a world without cancer.”
She ended her message by telling audiences to “enjoy life” as her mum did.
Olivia Newton-John’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi shares a few words on her mother’s upcoming #ARIA‘s tribute. pic.twitter.com/PyFUN2Xz7P
— Channel9 (@Channel9) November 24, 2022
While the tribute was no doubt a moving gesture, Newton-John’s fans have come out labelling the tribute as “pathetic” and “weak”.
That wasn’t a good tribute on Olivia Newton-John tonight, it should’ve been done with respect to an Australian icon #arias
— ⚫️⚪️ JAKE ⚫️⚪️ (@IncrediblyBozza) November 24, 2022
The #ARIAs really milked Olivia Newton John’s death. Playing the video message from Chloe early in the show but not showing the performances till the end of the night.
— Andrew (@harrypotter1994) November 24, 2022
On second thoughts, having just witnessed that bog-awful trainwreck of a tribute they did to Olivia Newton-John, it’s probably a blessing in disguise that the #arias DIDN’T do a Chris Bailey tribute.
— animal eatdrums (@animal_eatdrums) November 24, 2022
Newton-John’s tribute was just one of the moving tributes made on the night, with Archie Roach and The Seeker’s Judith Durham also being honoured after passing away earlier this year.
The tributes replaced the ceremony’s regular ARIA Hall Of Fame induction segment. ARIA said they wanted to “pay due respect and properly celebrate” the three Hall Of Famers who passed, reassuring the public that the inductee proceedings “will return in 2023”.