Kelsea Ballerini Shares a Cover in Tribute to Olivia Newton-John


Amid the news of Olivia Newton-John’s death on Monday (Aug. 8), Kelsea Ballerini issued a rafter-raising at-home performance of “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” one of the late singer and actor’s most iconic hits.

Ballerini wore a chunky, multi-colored sweater and stood in front of a simple indoor backdrop as she performed, her voice reverberating against the high ceilings to up the song’s already hefty emotional punch.

“Olivia Newton-John forever,” the country star writes in the caption of her social media post of the performance, along with an emoji image of a broken heart.

Performed as an a capella at-home cover, Ballerini’s tribute version of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” is a little more subdued than Newton-John’s classic original, which appears on the soundtrack from the film Grease. Newton-John performed it on-screen in the 1978 musical, in which she played the lead role of Sandy.

“Hopelessly Devoted to You” was a major hit for Newton-John in 1978, reaching the No. 3 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 20 on the country chart. As a whole, the soundtrack for Grease is one of the best-selling albums of all time in any genre, with approximately 28 million copies sold across the world. “You’re the One That I Want,” a duet off that soundtrack between Newton-John and her Grease co-star John Travolta, was a No. 1 hit in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Newton-John died on Monday at the age of 73, after a lengthy and public battle with cancer. She survived a bout with breast cancer in 1992, as well as another in 2013. Her cancer returned for a third time in 2018, and also metastasized to her sacrum, forcing her to cancel tour dates and seek a variety of both traditional and alternative medical approaches.

Funeral arrangements for Newton-John have not been announced. The star is survived by her husband and one daughter, Chloe, plus an extended family that includes siblings, nieces and nephews.

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