Singer Helen Reddy, whose early ’70s song ‘I Am Woman’ became a feminist anthem for several generations to come, is no more. The Australian singer, Born on October 25, 1941, breathed her last at the age of 78. Reddy hailed from a showbiz family and made her debut on stage at age 4.
Her children, daughter Traci Donat and son Jordan Sommers confirmed the news via her official Facebook page on Tuesday. Her ex-husband and one-time manager too spoke about the same.
In a statement, Helen Reddy’s daughter and son, Traci and Jordan, said, “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29 2020 in Los Angeles. She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”
Helen Reddy’s ex-husband and one-time manager, Jeff Wald, said, “I am v sad to announce that my first wife of 18 years and the mother of my two oldest, Traci & Jordan,” has died.” He added that Traci spent the morning with Helen. Continuing further, Jeff said that Reddy passed away under the excellent care of the Motion & Television Home.
Talking about Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’, the song was at the No. 1 spot in 1972. This song was followed by other chart-toppers like ‘Delta Dawn’ and ‘Angie Baby’ in 1973 and ’74. Her other top 10 hits in the US included ‘Leave Me Alone’ (Ruby Red Dress), ‘You and Me Against the World’ and ‘AIn’t No Way to Treat a Lady’. Her last song to top the US chart was the 1976 track ‘I Can’t Hear You No More’.
At the 1973 Grammys, Helen Reddy accepted her pop female vocalist award. That same year, she hosted a network variety show titled ‘The Helen Reddy Show’ for eight episodes. Post this, she began acting in films like ‘Pete’s Dragon’ and ‘Airport ’75’.
Reddy took a break for a decade before returning to performing in 2012. She explained her retirement by telling CBS News, “That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism — and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book. And I thought, ‘Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.’ So.”
In 2002, Helen Reddy quit the entertainment sphere and earned a degree in clinical hypnotherapy. After living away for the limelight for around 10years, she returned to show business in 2012. In 2006, Reddy published a memoir, ‘The Woman I Am’.
As per 2015 reports, Reddy had dementia and was in the care of the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Samuel Goldwyn Center for Behavioral Health in Woodland Hills.
May Helen Reddy’s soul rest in peace.