The Chicks Pay Tribute to Olivia Newton-John With Powerful Cover of ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Natalie Maines of The Chicks conceded she always wanted to be Olivia Newton-John. Every little girl who grew up in the 70s or 80s would’ve loved to have been the beautiful, talented singer.

Over the weekend, The Chicks covered one of Newton-John’s classics to honor her memory. The group was performing at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. It’s been almost a week since Olivia Newton-John died at age 73. And the entertainment world still is mourning.

“We lost a worldwide sweetheart last week, Olivia Newton-John,” Maines told the crowd. “I thought I was Olivia Newton-John from like 4 to 12, and then I just wished I was Olivia Newton-John. So we worked up today at soundcheck a little Olivia Newton-John song.”

The three performed “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Newton-John first sang the song in 1978 in the movie Grease. As Sandy, she was the young, innocent good girl, yearning for her bad boy, Danny (John Travolta). The soundtrack for Grease was outstanding, with three songs hitting the top five.

“Hopelessly Devoted: reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And it received an Academy Award nomination in 1979 for Best Original Song. (“Last Dance” in “Thank God It’s Friday” won the Oscar. In this case, disco queen Donna Summer trumped Newton-John).

Newton-John died this past Monday. She’d battled cancer for 30 years. Doctors first diagnosed her with breast cancer in 1992, when she was only 43. The cancer returned twice more. In 2017, doctors told her it had spread to her spine. John Easterling, Newton-John’s husband, announced his wife’s death, saying she was surrounded by loved ones when she passed away at her California ranch.

So many people have paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John. In fact, Australia, where she grew up, is honoring her with a state funeral.

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

John Travolta also paid tribute to his good friend.

“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” Travolta wrote in a social media post. “Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

Newton-John was mainly known as a pop singer. But she had roots in country. That’s why you saw so many country music stars like The Chicks mourning her loss. Kelsea Ballerini sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from her home and posted the video on Instagram.

Nicole Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban, also honored Newton-John’s memory. They’re all fellow Aussies. Kidman posted a photo of the three of them together in happy times. And Kidman also used a hopelessly devoted theme in her caption.

“Livvie brought the most divine light into the world,” Kidman wrote. “So much love, joy, inspiration and kindness… And we will always be hopelessly devoted to you.”