Long Island-raised Mariah Carey paid tribute to pop music icon Olivia Newton-John Tuesday, with heartfelt social-media posts and photos a day after the Australia-raised singer's death at age 73.
"I first fell in love with Olivia's voice when I was a little girl and heard 'I Honestly Love You,' " wrote Carey, 53, referring to Newton-John's 1974 No. 1 single, which won the Grammy Award for record of the year. "Songs like 'Magic,' 'Suddenly' and 'Have You Never Been Mellow' showcased her beautiful airy tone and signature sound. And THEN there was GREASE," the 1978 movie-musical hit about 1950s high schoolers, starring Newton-John and John Travolta, which spawned their duet hit "You're the One That I Want" and Newton-John's solo hit "Hopelessly Devoted to You."
"I was obsessed,” wrote five-time Grammy Award-winner Carey. "I dressed up as Bad Sandy for Halloween in 5th grade and thought I was everything," she said of Newton-John's leather-jacket-clad good-girl-turned-motorcycle-mama in the film.
"Years later," Carey continued, "THE one and only Olivia Newton-John actually walked out onto my stage in Melbourne, Australia," during Carey's stop on the 1998 "Butterfly" tour, "and we sang our hearts out together to 'Hopelessly Devoted To You.' This is a moment I will never ever forget," Carey added, posting a photo of them together onstage with their arms around each other, and another of them there holding hands with their arms aloft.
Posting two photos from more recent years, Carey, who was born in Huntington and raised there and in Melville, Northport and Greenlawn, wrote, "I was also blessed to be in her presence on many other occasions and she was one of the kindest, most generous and lovely people I've ever met. She will be missed. She will be remembered. She will be loved. Olivia, I honestly love you."
Four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-actor Newton-John died Monday at her Southern California ranch, her husband John Easterling announced. No cause of death was given. Newton-John successfully battled breast cancer that was first diagnosed in 1992, but recurred in 2013 and again in 2017.