Australian-American singer Helen Reddy, who gained International fame with her anthemic hit, “I am Woman” has passed away due to complications of Dementia. She was 78 years old.
Reddy was born in Melbourne Victoria. Raised in a show business family,she started entertaining at age four. In 1966, after winning a talent contest on the Australian version of “Bandstand,” she won a ticket to New York City for a record audition where she was unsuccessful. Eventually she got a recording contract and joined the Capitol Records label a year later.
It was during the 1970s where Reddy was at the height of her popularity – especially in the United States. She placed 15 singles on the Billboard Top 40, including three number one songs. The most popular was her signature song “I am Woman” which became an anthem for the feminist movement. Her other Billboard number one songs were “Delta Dawn” and “Angie Baby”.
Reddy’s popularity declined after the 1970s, and while she still recorded, there were other ventures. Reddy was an occasional television guest star as an actress, appearing on the shows such as “The Love Boat”, “Fantasy Island”, “The Jeffersons” and, “Diagnosis: Murder”. In the 1980s, she ventured into theatre. She mostly worked in musicals, including “Blood Brother”s on Broadway.
In 2002 Reddy retired from performing and earned a college degree in Australia in She also earned a degree in clinical hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming. She became a practicing clinical hypnotherapist and Patron of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists.
Reddy came out of retirement in 2012 to performing live after being inspired by a warm reception she received when she sang at her sister’s 80th birthday party. In 2015, she was diagnosed with dementia.
She is survived by two children and several grandchildren. At the time of her death, Reddy was residing in an assisted living facility in Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: Public Domain