Helen Reddy, the songwriter known for creating the classic ‘I Am Woman’ which was a hit and ranked #1 passed away on Tuesday this week. The American-Australian singer passed away at the age of 78. Her kids confirmed the news of her death through her official Facebook page. Reddy was diagnosed with Addison’s disease and dementia for the past eight years. Addison’s disease is when the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones which leads to back pain, low blood pressure, and coma.
Helen Reddy's music made women feel invincible.
The icon of women's liberation has died in Los Angeles, aged 78. Her music shaped a generation of women.https://t.co/fOgWV12LZ3
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) October 1, 2020
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) September 30, 2020
I just learned Helen Reddy died. This saddens me. She was such an icon of the women's movement back in the day, I can't believe her dying is not more of a news story.
You were woman, we heard you roar, Helen. Rest in Iconic Power & Peace.🙏🕊️
— Mae B Someday Soon (@mspoint1106) October 1, 2020
In 1972, her song ‘I Am Woman’ ranked #1 on the Billboard charts. The song was an anthem for the Women’s Liberation Movement and was celebrating women empowerment. She has also won a Grammy for the Best Female Vocal Performance. She was the first Australian ever to win a Grammy for her works. The song was also stuck in a controversy where men came forward saying that the song was spreading hate about men. Being one of the top-selling artists of her decade, Reddy had enjoyed international success. At that point, there were not many women artists with such fame. The Queen of 70s Pop had started her career when she was 4 years old.
Who is Helen Reddy?
Born on 25th October, 1941 Helen Maxine Reddy was born to Stella Campbell and Maxwell David Reddy. Her family was quite popular in the entertainment industry. Her mother has acted in several shows along with theatres. Reddy’s father was also working as a producer and writer. He was also a part of the Australian army during the Second World War.
Reddy used to live with her aunt because of the frequent arguments between her parents. Her aunt was her role model and motivated her for pursuing a career in singing. She moved to the US to start her career in singing. After she signed with Capitol records, she met a secretary named Jeff Wald who started working as her manager. They both got married later. Now, he was getting all the work but Reddy did not get any. He eventually got fired after which he had no activity to do. After calling the agency several times, they finally gave her an act that did well in the market. Then came ‘I Am Woman’ which gave her instant stardom.
After giving various leads in 2002, she went on to announce her retirement. Her last performance was at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Reddy had been married three times. First, she got married to Kenneth Weate, then Jeff Wald and Milton Ruth. Har last marriage ended in 1995 after which she had been single. She had two children. Even after retirement, she used to do small concerts and perform at events. Reddy has also worked with community affairs in raising funds for political candidates because of which she was a part of a nine-member Commission.