Over a year on from her passing, and following a sea of tributes that have poured in from around the world, Olivia Newton-John’s legacy is set to be celebrated once again as British singing sensation Cliff Richard reveals his heartwarming plan to honour her on his highly anticipated upcoming album.
Newton-John passed away following a long battle with cancer on August 8, 2022.
The Grease star died peacefully surrounded by her family at her Southern California ranch, according to her husband, John Easterling, who announced her death via social media.
“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,” he said at the time.
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As news broke regarding Newton-John’s passing, Richard took to social media to reveal that he was” at a loss as to what to say”.
“From now on I will only believe that our gorgeous Olivia simply stopped living. I will miss her. The world will miss her, so let’s all keep her alive in our hearts and memories,” he added.
Now over a year on from her passing, Richard has remained committed to keeping her memory alive with a new version of Suddenly on his upcoming album Cliff With Strings – My Kinda Life, set to be released on November 3, 2023.
Richard revealed that it was an emotional experience re-recording the classic track that brought him and Newton-John together many years ago.
“It is really an emotional journey to listen back to some of my original vocals and hear just how young I was and how my style changed over the years,” he explained.
“These tracks mean a lot to me and they are so refreshed with the orchestral arrangements. The most emotional track on the album for me is Suddenly with my dear friend Olivia Newton-John.”
Instead of using the 1980 studio recording, the updated version will feature their live vocal performance from their final duet at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2015.
“We recorded this version together live for my 75th birthday in 2015 and it always strikes me how well our voices sounded together and the crystal gentility that Olivia always managed to exude,” Cliff revealed.
“I’m glad I was able to highlight this great performance again.”
Released in 1980, Suddenly rocketed to the number 15 spot on the UK Singles Chart in October 1980 and reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1981.
By the end of 1981, it ranked in at 91 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles. Additionally, it emerged as a significant favourite among Adult Contemporary audiences, reaching the fourth position.
In the music video, Newton-John and Richard are seen in a penthouse, delivering the song to one another. The footage was taken from her ABC TV special titled Hollywood Nights, which was broadcast prior to the 52nd Academy Awards on April 14, 1980.