Australian singer Olivia Newton-John has been made a ‘Dame’ in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
The cancer-stricken star of Grease – a tireless campaigner and fundraiser for research into medical cannabis – is being recognised by Great Britain for services to cancer research, charity and entertainment.
Most recently, she sold off her clothing collection from various films and music videos to help raise funds for her medical research centre in Melbourne where scientists are looking at the beneficial properties of marijuana.
Born in Cambridge, the performer moved to Australia as a young child where she developed her musical talents before landing a career-defining role alongside John Travolta in the 1978 musical Grease.
After being informed of the Damehood, the 71-year-old cannabis evangelist expressed her pride at being honoured for her achievements.
“I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me,” she said.
“Thank you to the prime minister and the main honours committee for recommending me, and of course Her Majesty the Queen for graciously approving me as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
“As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom.”
The movie and music icon has been using cannabis products for years as a way of managing the pain of her stage four breast cancer. It is the third time she has been hit with the disease after first being diagnosed in 1992.