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.