(NPR) 1980s pop goddess Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73

“I wanted this girl bad,” Travolta told Merv Griffin on TV in 1981. “The perfect Sandy, the ultimate Sandy, would be Olivia Newton-John.”

But the 28-year old Australian singer was skeptical about playing a high school student.

“I couldn’t do an American accent, and I was too old,” she told the Today show in 2019. “And I had all these reasons why I couldn’t do it. We did a screen test. The chemistry was there. It worked and when John came to see me at my house — how could you say no to John Travolta?”

No one, it seemed, could say no to Grease. The soundtrack was wildly successful. A duet with Travolta ended up as a best-selling single.

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