Australian feminist singer Helen Reddy, 78, dies

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Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
Photo: John Minihan/Evening Standard/Hulton Archiv
  • Australian singer Helen Reddy has died at the age of 78.
  • She was best known for her feminist anthem I Am Woman, which become the rallying cry for the women's liberation movement.
  • Her children announced her death on her official Facebook fan page and called her a "formidable woman".

Australian singer Helen Reddy, best known for her feminist anthem I Am Woman, has died in Los Angeles aged 78, according to a statement from her children on Wednesday.

"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of 29 September 2020 in Los Angeles," the statement on her official Facebook fan page said.

The trailblazing musician from Melbourne shot to global stardom with the 1971 hit I Am Woman, which became the rallying cry of the women's liberation movement.

Born on 25 October 1941, Reddy married three times and had two children, Traci Wald Donat and Jordan Sommers.

"She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman," they said.

"Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever."

Reddy, who lived in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.

She was born to show-business parents and began performing as a small child in Australia.

Reddy later moved to the United States where she recorded a string of hits in the 1970s, including Angie Baby and Delta Dawn, topping the Billboard charts three times.

Accepting a Grammy Award in 1973, she famously thanked God "because she makes everything possible".

An Australian biopic detailing her rise to fame premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019.

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