Helen Reddy

Singer

Born: 25 October 1941
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Best known as:

 

The Australian singer who did "I Am Woman"

Australian singer Helen Reddy had a string of top 40 hits in the 1970s, the most famous of which was the chart-topping feminist anthem, "I Am Woman." Reddy grew up in a show business family and toured with her parents as a kid. She sang her way to the top of a TV contest in 1966 and won a trip to New York, but didn't immediately find success in the United States. But she married Jeff Wald soon after arriving, and became her manager; they moved to Los Angeles and wrangled a recording deal, which resulted in her first hit song, 1971's "I Don't Know How to Love Him" (from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar). The next year, Reddy's "I Am Woman" was released and, after a slow start, made its way to the top of the charts. She won a Grammy (the first Australian to do so), and was on her way to pop stardom. She followed with a string of hits, including "Delta Dawn," "Angie Baby" and "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," and was a familiar face on television, including in her own variety series in 1973. By the 1980s, Wald's wild lifestyle was too much for Reddy and the couple divorced. She claims Wald's influence kept her from making the pop charts again, so by the 1990s she'd turned to musical theater. Reddy retired in 2002 and became a clinical hypnotherapist in Australia. She announced the end of her retirement in 2012 and returned to touring and recording.

Extra credit:

Helen Reddy also made a few movie appearances, including Airport '75 (1974) and Pete's Dragon (1977, a live action and animation feature that included her hit song "Candle on the Water").

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More on Helen Reddy from Fact Monster:

  • Pete's Dragon - Starring Helen Reddy, Sean Marshall, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons
  • 1972 Grammy Awards - 1972 Grammy Awards Record of the Year “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Roberta ...
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