Top 10 Olivia Newton-John Songs (2023)

Australian pop singer and actress Olivia Newton-John passed away on Monday, August 8. She left behind a decades-long career unlike any other. From her early country music days to her famous gigs in Grease and Xanadu to her edgy 80s pop bops, Newton-John fully understood the art of reinventing herself.

Newton-John was known for her elegance, passion, activism, and trademark breathy vocals. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five No. 1 hits and another ten top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also had two Billboard 200 number one albums: If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975). With over 100 million records sold globally, Newton-John is one of the best-selling recording artists from the second half of the 20th century.

In honor of Newton-John's astounding life and legacy, we've created a top 10 list of our favorite Olivia hits. We hope some of your faves made the cut!

The movie Xanadu was a total box office flop when it premiered in 1980, but the soundtrack managed to become a worldwide success and received positive reviews from music critics, earning double platinum certifications in the United States and Canada. It was even the fifth most popular U.S. soundtrack of 1981.

In this title track – which reached #1 in the United States, U.K., Netherlands, and Italy – Newton-John sings about the magical world of Xanadu, which is a nightclub in the film. The track is romantic and gentle, but also grand and full of 70s-esque friskiness. You'll skate through this track with delight when listening to it!

Have You Never Been Mellow marked Newton-John's soft country rock phase. The title track of her fifth album, "Have You Never Been Mellow" is all about Olivia Newton-John trying to tell a lover to relax. She never means to offend her special someone and doesn't criticize them harshly. She even mentions that she used to be in a hurry like the the person is now. Newton-John comes across as a sweetheart as she asks her lover to mellow out, and some catchy acoustic guitar, bass, keys, violin, and flute sounds accompany her pleas.

(Video) TOP TEN: The Best Songs Of Olivia Newton-John [RETRO]

"Have You Never Been Mellow" was a big commercial success for Newton-John. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart in March of 1975, also reaching #3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. Outside the U.S., it topped the Canadian charts and peaked at #10 in Australia. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Another track off Have You Never Been Mellow, this tune sees Olivia sitting in a bar, hoping a stranger won't play a particular song off a jukebox for fear it will bring back memories of an ex-lover. "Please, mister, please, don't play B-17 / It was our song, it was his song but it's over" she sings during the track's chorus.

We love this song for its melancholy tone, narrative structure, and Olivia's shimmering vocals. The chorus is sweeping and memorable. Have You Never Been Mellow was the album that showed Olivia Newton-John had finally found her sound. "Please Mr. Please" proved she had mastered the soft country rock tone, and was ready to spread her wings into more musical territory.

Late 70s and 1980s Olivia Newton-John was such a vibe. We love her earlier works, but we actually prefer her later discography. There's a maturity and grittiness to it that you just can't stop replaying. Our first late 70s Olivia favorite is "A Little More Love," which appeared on her post-Grease album Totally Hot. You know what else is totally hot? The rockin' guitar riffs on this track.

The steamy instrumental bits and Olivia's charming vocals are the perfect mix of sweet and sour on "A Little More Love." In the song, Olivia knows she has no self control over her man, and gives a "little more love" to him because she knows it gets her nowhere to tell him 'no.' But she's not powerless – she wants more love from her suitor. Of all the songs on Totally Hot, "A Little More Love" may just be the most sweltering.

A pumping bop that recently made an appearance during Season 2 of Netflix's Stranger Things, "Twist of Fate" is Newton-John's most action-packed and electrifying 80s tune. We think it deserves more credit than it's been given, which is why we're placing it near the middle of our list. Olivia's vocals have never been more stirring than on this track.

(Video) Olivia Newton John Greatest Hits 2021 - Olivia Newton John Top 100 Best Songs Of Collection

"Twist of Fate" is all about Newton-John desperately trying to get back together with a separated lover. It was Olivia’s last top 10 hit, reaching #5 in early 1984. It comes from the soundtrack of the film Two Of A Kind – a failed attempt to recreate the success Olivia Newton-John had in the 1970s when she was paired up with John Travolta in Grease. Maybe that movie was a dud, but in a strange twist of fate, this song has managed to prevail on as a hit.

And now we get to Olivia's Grease tunes! Is it possible to sing "Summer Nights" without a huge goofy smile on your face? We don't think so. This is one of those songs that's perfect during a group karaoke session or while you're partying with some hardcore musical theatre kids.

"Summer Nights" was written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The song reached #5 on the Billboard Top 100. In the U.K., it spent seven weeks at #1. In this show-stopping number, Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Olsen (Olivia Newton-John) discuss their special summer fling to a chorus of fascinated friends.

Danny brags about Sandy’s looks and the physical aspects of their relationship while Sandy explains the deep feelings she has. Additionally, Danny tries to impress his pals by telling them things that didn’t exactly happen in his summer with Sandy. (Lying about making out under the dock? Really Danny?) While you listen to this song, you just want all the singers to keep telling you more, telling you more!

The other song from Xanadu that managed to hit #1 in the United States and Canada. But unlike Xanadu's title track, "Magic" also reached the top 40 in several countries overseas. The song was certified Gold and Billboard ranked it the third most popular single in 1980. Even John Lennon told Newsweek he enjoyed the song shortly before his untimely death.

"Magic" is one of those soundtrack tunes you forget is actually part of a soundtrack because Olivia Newton-John does such a great job on it, it's associated with her first. It's not Xanadu's song: it's Olivia Newton-John's. "Magic's" music production is a unique blend of creepy, mystical, beautiful, and mysterious. We truly believe only Newton-John could pull that tone off. With how much this song played on the radio during the 80s, you have to believe this song is magic, and nothing could stand in its way: not even the fact that Xanadu was a flop!

(Video) Top 10 Olivia Newton-John Songs

"Tell me about it, stud." Oof, does this song slap – even in 2022! Grease's climax saw Olivia's Sandy drop her wholesome girl-next-door image to become an honorary leather and spandex-clad T-bird, much to the surprise and delight of John Travolta's Danny. While the story reason for Sandy's makeover may be a bit dodgy by today's standards, her "electrifying" transformation really packs a punch. Not only is her look different, but so is her attitude and vocal power on the track!

"You're the One That I Want" is perhaps the most iconic and fun song from Grease, which is why it easily became one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 6 million copies among the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France alone. It also reached #1 on many charts.

If this were a top 10 list of Grease songs, "You're the One That I Want" would rank #1. But since this list is all about Olivia Newton-John's talent, we're ranking her swoony ballad "Hopelessly Devoted to You" ahead of the climactic track.

In this number, Sandy sings of her feelings for Danny and how she’s hopelessly waiting for him to notice her. It's big, it's dramatic, it's dreamy, and it's a powerhouse track only someone with vocal chops like Olivia Newton-John can handle. The track also has some country-pop sound influence, making Olivia's voice the perfect choice to tell the tale of Sandy's devotion to Danny.

Halfway through filming Grease, Olivia Newton-John's contractually-entitled solo song had yet to be written. John Farrar, her personal producer, quickly penned the song and submitted it to the film's production team. Although they were reluctant, the track was approved, and "Hopelessly Devoted to You" miraculously became one of the film's best-loved songs.

With the good girl image Olivia Newton-John maintained for several years, it's hard to believe she actually released a song that was banned by several radio stations. But in 1981, she did just that, dropping the classic 80s dance hit "Physical" to the world.

(Video) Top 10 Olivia Newton-John's songs

“Physical” was originally written with a male vocalist in mind, and the songwriters envisioned someone like Rod Stewart. They first offered the song to Tina Turner, who at the time had no solo career hits yet. Turner declined the offer, recommending Olivia Newton-John instead.

Newton-John accepted the offer, later explaining to People Magazine, “I just wasn’t in the mood for tender ballads. I wanted peppy stuff because that’s how I’m feeling.” To mask the overtly sexual nature of the lyrics, it was given an early 80s fitness craze theme. However, many DJs still considered it too controversial due to its suggestive lyrics, and in some cases, the track was completely banned from radio.

"I was banned for ‘Physical’ – can you imagine? – I can actually say I was banned! That song is a lullaby compared to what’s on the radio today!" Newton-John told OutInPerth in 2021. Fortunately, the song's controversy only helped it grow. "Physical" became a massive hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981 and staying there for 10 straight weeks.

“Physical” was certified Gold in less than two months, then Platinum a month later. Billboard declared it the biggest song of 1982, and later ranked it the biggest song of the entire decade, and the song topped charts all over the world. And "Physical's" impact on music doesn't stop there. The song inspired Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia bop "Physical," and one could even argue the fitness craze theme has worked its way into songs like Kanye West's "The New Workout Plan" and Lizzo's "Fitness." No matter what comes next, Olivia Newton-John did the hit sexy exercise song first! After the workout of her action-packed career, we hope she rests in peace.

Check out our selection of free stations streaming Olivia Newton-John music at

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(Video) The VERY BEST Songs Of Olivia Newton-John

Article Image: A close-up of Olivia Newton-John performing at the Count Basie Theater in New Jersey in 2017. (andykazie via DepositPhotos.)


What is Olivia Newton-John's most popular song? ›

Olivia Newton-John

What are the top 5 most popular songs? ›

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What is the #1 most popular song of all time? ›

The Billboard Hot 100: All-time top songs
  • #1: "The Twist" by Chubby Checker.
  • #2: "Smooth" by Santana (featuring Rob Thomas) (1999)
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  • #4: "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars) (2015)
  • #5: "How Do I Live" by Leann Rimes (1997)
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How many number 1 hits did Olivia Newton-John have? ›

She's claimed nearly 40 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 -- including five No. 1s. Newton-John's all-time biggest hit on the Hot 100 is "Physical," which spent a whopping 10 weeks at No. 1 on the tally in late 1981 and early 1982.

Did Olivia Newton-John Date John Travolta? ›

They were the subject of persistent romance rumors after they steamed up screens in 1978's “Grease.” But Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta never got physical while filming the movie musical, and instead went on to share a 44-year friendship that remained strictly platonic.

What was Olivia Newton-John's last hit song? ›

Here, we honor the late Olivia Newton-John, who died this week at age 73, with a look back at her fifth and final No. 1: “Physical,” the most iconic solo hit of her storied career, and one of the defining smashes of the 1980s.

What was Olivia Newton-John's first hit single? ›

In 1973, "Let Me Be There" became her first single to reach commercial success in the United States. It reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100, number three on the adult contemporary chart and number seven on the country songs chart. The song established Newton-John as both a pop and country artist.

How rich is Olivia Newton-John? ›

Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE was a British actress, singer, author, and producer who had a net worth of $60 million at the time of her death. Olivia Newton-John died on August 8, 2022 at the age of 73.

What's the most listened to song ever? ›

Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.

What is the most listened to song in 2022? ›

Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2022 so far:
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6 more rows
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What was Olivia Newton-John's number one hit in 1981? ›

On November 21, 1981, “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in America. It became the best-selling single of the decade.

Does Olivia Newton-John have a greatest hits? ›

Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits is the first greatest hits album by Olivia Newton-John released in 1977.
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits
GenreCountry pop
ProducerJohn Farrar
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How many gold records does Olivia Newton-John have? ›

All told, Newton-John's music career saw her release 14 gold albums—including two platinum and four double platinum—and 11 gold singles, including two platinum. Her 100+ million records sold globally make her one of the best-selling musicians of the past century.

Who was the youngest cast member of Grease? ›

Kelly Ward was the youngest of the main cast members at 20.

Ward was only two or three years older than his character, making for the most realistic portrayal of a high school student among the main cast.

How old was Olivia Newton-John during Grease? ›

'Grease' was a box office success and Newton-John and Travolta received rave reviews from the film critics. Travolta was 22 years old during the filming of 'Grease' and Newton-John was 28 at the time the movie was being made.

What did John Travolta say about Olivia Newton-John's death? ›

Her Grease co-star John Travolta led the tributes, saying she "made all of our lives so much better". Olivia Newton-John died peacefully at her California ranch, surrounded by family and friends. John Travolta posted on social media: "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better.

What song did Olivia Newton-John sing at Eurovision? ›

Olivia took part in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Brighton in the United Kingdom. She finished 4th with the song Long Live Love, in the same Contest won by Swedish band ABBA.

Was Olivia Newton-John a good singer? ›

Olivia Newton-John was one of the most successful singers of the 1970s and 1980s. The British-born Australian superstar reinvented herself over and over, from a sweet country singer to a Hollywood queen to an '80s pop princess.

What songs did Olivia Newton-John win a Grammy for? ›

In addition to her Grammy for "Let Me Be There", Newton-John was also named the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974, making her the first British singer to have won the award.

Has Olivia Newton-John had a funeral? ›

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last week confirmed a state funeral would be held to honour the Melbourne-raised star. Newton-John's family accepted the offer of a state service in Victoria, allowing Australians to celebrate the life of the beloved icon.

How old was Olivia Newton-John when she died? ›

She was 73. "Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends.

How rich is Travolta? ›

John Travolta is an American actor and singer who has a net worth $250 million. Let's talk about some money. Only 2 homes of John Travolta are worth around $25 million. Not only this, he has an aviation state where there is a runway on which his jumbo jet lands.

Is Koala Blue still in business? ›

Sadly, this chain of shops is no longer; Koala Blue shuttered in 1993, as it was unable to weather the ongoing recession at the time.

Who did Olivia Newton-John leave her money to? ›

In an incredible final act of kindness, it's been revealed that three years before her death Olivia Newton-John committed a huge portion of her personal fortune to the foundation and wellness centre.

What is No 1 song in the world? ›

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