Helen Reddy, ‘I Am Woman’ Singer, Dies at 78

Singer Helen Reddy, who became an emblem of feminism with the 1972 smash “I Am Woman,” died Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 78.

In a statement, her daughters, Traci and Jordan, said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles. She was 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.”

Her ex-husband, Jeff Wald, said, “I am v sad to announce that my first wife of 18 years and the mother of my two oldest, Traci & Jordan,” has died. “Traci spent the morning with Helen and she passed soon after under the excellent care of the Motion & Television Home.”

“I Am Woman” went to No. 1 in 1972 and was succeeded by further chart-toppers, “Delta Dawn” and “Angie Baby,” in 1973 and ’74.

At the 1973 Grammys, accepting her pop female vocalist award, Reddy further cemented her status as a symbol of the women’s liberation movement when she thanked “God because She makes everything possible.”

That same year, she hosted a network variety show, “The Helen Reddy Show,” for eight episodes, before proceeding to an acting career that included roles in “Pete’s Dragon” and “Airport ’75.”

In 1974, Reddy became a naturalized United States citizen and became an activist supporting Democratic politicians. She was appointed by California governor Jerry Brown to the California Department of Parks and Recreation and served for three years.

In 2002, Reddy left the entertainment sphere to get a degree in clinical hypnotherapy. For the next decade, she lived under the radar in Sydney before returning to show business in 2012.

“Singing ‘Leave Me Alone’ 43 times per song lost its charm a long time ago,” she said of her long retreat from public view.

In recent years, Reddy published a memoir, and had her life story turned into a 2019 feature film, both titled “I Am Woman.”

More to come…

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