BEING FORCED TO stay home has been something of a blessing for Olivia Newton-John.
“I feel guilty for saying it, but I’ve actually enjoyed not being able to go anywhere,” the singer admits down the phone from her California home. “My life has always been about being on planes and travelling and staying in hotels, so to be in one place for almost a year has been blissful.”
Olivia and her entrepreneur husband, John Easterling, live on a horse ranch near Santa Barbara.
“And it’s been wonderful having so much time at home. I’ve been able to do things like clean out closets and garages. I’ve also learned how to make bread, I’ve done arts and crafts-y things, and have hung out with my animals and my husband. I haven’t been bored for one second.”
Not that the 72-year-old multiple Grammy winner and seller of 100 million records worldwide is resting on the laurels she’s earned from nearly six decades in the business. She’s recorded a new single, prepped a duets album and launched her own foundation to fund research into holistic care for cancer. The single, “Window in the Wall”, carries a message that’s dear to Olivia’s heart.
“It’s about having compassion for each other and realising that we all have different ways of thinking and just accepting that. There seems to be so much conflict and we have to realise we’re all humans sharing the same planet. We need to get along.”
It’s her first new record in a decade and she wasn’t planning on making new music, saying: “I didn’t think I was going to record anymore. I was thinking, I’m just gonna enjoy my life.” Then Olivia heard the track and loved it so much it made her cry.
“It really touched my heart and I was compelled to record it.”
She opted to create the track as a duet with her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi (from her previous marriage to actor Matt Lattanzi).
“And I think it’s turned out really quite nice,” the ever-modest Olivia says of a song that was recorded in the same studio but at separate times. “Chloe was nervous about me being there so I went for a walk while she did her vocals.”
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