Sydney’s ABC News affiliate reports:
Australian legend and activist Helen Reddy has passed away at the age of 78 in Los Angeles. The Melbourne-born singer is best known for her hit song I Am Woman, which has gone on to become a feminist anthem.
“Helen Reddy’s story is an amazing one, a great story of talent and determination,” said entertainment reporter Peter Ford.
“She had a list of hits, but the one that will always be talked about and will live on for generations is I Am Woman, which she co-wrote – and it was such an anthem of its time and of today for women’s rights.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
With her career in the doldrums she briefly studied psychology and parapsychology at UCLA, before comedian Flip Wilson offered her a spot on The Tonight Show while he was filling in for Johnny Carson.
Her appearance led to a contract to record a single for Capitol Records and I Don’t Know How To Love Him resulted.
This might never have charted because Reddy, not overly keen on the song, originally intended it as the throwaway B-side to I Believe in Music. A last-minute swap led to a hit and Reddy’s first album.