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I Am Woman singer Helen Reddy had died aged 78

Australian singer Helen Reddy has died aged 78.Reddy’s family made the announcement on Facebook, writing: “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.“She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken.…

Australian singer Helen Reddy has died aged 78.

Reddy’s family made the announcement on Facebook, writing: “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.

“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.”

Reddy was rumoured to have been diagnosed with dementia in 2015 but her family released a statement at the time saying that wasn’t the case: “Despite recent reports on the status of her health, we would like to let her fans know that she has not been diagnosed with dementia, nor has she been hospitalised.”

Born in Victoria, Reddy was part of a showbiz family and was performing on stage from age four.

After winning a talent show in 1965, she won a trip to America and less than a decade later she was an international star.

In 1972 she released her song I Am Woman which earned Reddy a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal.

During her acceptance speech, Reddy thanked “God, because she makes everything possible”.

The song went on to become a feminist anthem but in a 2013 interview Reddy said she had “no idea” the song would have such a big impact.

“That was a big surprise,” Reddy told the Chicago Tribune. “I think it came along at the right time. I’d gotten involved in the Women’s Movement, and there were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sort of things. All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty.”

Reddy had more than a dozen Top 40 hits on the US charts in the 1970s and is estimated to have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.

Reddy’s remarkable life was recently turned into a film called I Am Woman which is available to stream on Stan.

RELATED: I Am Woman: Biopic’s significance to a generation of women

Director Unjoo Moon was inspired to make the film after meeting Reddy at a G’Day LA function in the US a few years ago.

“I actually made my husband swap seats with me so I could sit next to her,” Moon told Refinery29.

After chatting for hours, Moon couldn’t believe that there wasn’t already a film about Reddy’s life.

“That is why I made the movie,” Moon said. “I wanted the world to know that Helen Reddy was so much more than the woman who sang I Am Woman.”

Moon said she told Reddy she could not guarantee the film would be 100 per cent accurate.

“I said to her, ‘Look, Helen, this is going to be a work of fiction based on your life, it’s not going to be a documentary. I can’t promise you that I will get every word right, that I will include everybody who’s been in your life. I may combine people together, I may do different things to tell this story because it’s a work of fiction. But I will promise you that I will honour the spirit of who you are, what your life is, and how your music has impacted people’,” Moon said to 9Entertainment. “I think that was the thing she always felt was important, that the spirit of it had to be in line with who she is.”

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