Australian singer and feminist icon, Helen Reddy, has died at the age of 78. She had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and was living in a nursing home in Los Angeles.
Her children, Traci Donat and Jordan Sommers, announced the news in a statement on Facebook, remembering her as “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,” reads the statement.
Born in Melbourne, Reddy became the world’s top-selling female singer in the early ’70s after moving to New York to pursue music. Best-known for her Grammy award-winning single ‘I Am Woman’, Reddy became a feminist icon during the Women’s Liberation Movement for the song’s empowering lyrics and her own dedication to make a name for herself in a man’s world and the male-dominated music industry.
A biopic tracing Reddy’s life and career titled I Am Woman was released earlier this year, depicting her rise from a single mother with just over $200 to her name to a globally-acclaimed artist.
In addition to her music career, Reddy also hosted a prime-time variety show and worked as an actor, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Airport 1975.