What You Never Knew About Olivia Newton-John

What You Never Knew About Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of the innocent character, Sandy, in the movie adaptation of Grease in 1978. However, despite her sweet and innocent public image, Newton-John has had personal struggles including tumultuous relationships, a publicized health crisis, and estrangement from her daughter, leading to her being frequently covered in the tabloids. In a recent development, Newton-John has finally decided to speak out about all that is going on in her life.

Every Day Is A Gift

Undoubtedly, Olivia Newton-John has encountered some significant difficulties lately. Despite numerous health struggles, the Grease actress has managed to conquer every hurdle she has faced up until now.

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She expressed her gratitude for having gone through this experience thrice and still surviving. She mentioned that she is currently living with it and it has strengthened her appreciation for life, as she sees each day as a gift. With the support of her husband, John Easterling and the unwavering love from her fans, Olivia has made a commitment to enjoy life to the fullest.

A Vanishing Act

Olivia Newton-John’s life was thrown into turmoil in 2005 when her on-again, off-again partner of nine years, Patrick McDermott, vanished without a trace.

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Olivia was deeply saddened by the sudden and unexplained death of her ex-partner, despite their recent separation. Little did she know that the detectives investigating the matter would unearth startling revelations.

She Thought He Just Went Fishing

Although the couple had ended their romantic relationship, they continued to maintain a friendly bond. McDermott had made plans for a fishing expedition on the California coast, during which he allegedly fell overboard. Newton-John was fortunate not to be connected to his vanishing, yet the peculiarities of the occurrence were noteworthy.

The crew didn’t witness his fall and his body was never recovered, which left Olivia devastated as she kept searching for explanations. However, after extensive investigation by the authorities, new revelations came to light.

His Sinister Secret

After his disappearance was investigated, gossip started to circulate that McDermott had planned the entire incident to avoid paying child support to his ex-wife, Yvette Nipar.

Olivia was devastated even though the couple had reportedly broken up before his vanishing. To add to the complexity, law enforcement officers found out, after five years, that he had been concealing himself in Mexico as an internet account was traced back to McDermott. Newton-John was struggling to understand how she had been misled for such a prolonged time.

Olivia Shares Her Sadness

After finding out that her ex-boyfriend was not lost at sea and was supposedly sailing along the Mexican coast, Olivia gave a statement about McDermott. She was not considered a suspect in his disappearance because she was in Australia during that time.

According to her statement to Women’s Weekly Australia, despite the U.S. Coast Guard officially closing the case and declaring him lost at sea, she believes there will always be some uncertainty and unrest in her mind. She doesn’t think she will ever fully come to terms with it.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

After McDermott went missing, Newton-John admitted that she experienced severe depression, which she managed by taking medication. According to an interview with The Times of London in 2009, she took the medication for three months to deal with the distressing situation.

She explained that she stopped doing it once she regained the clarity and never repeated it again. She didn’t want to develop any sort of addiction to it, hence the decision to quit.

The Truth Comes Out

Dateline NBC hired several private investigators to review McDermott’s case again due to the strange online behavior detected in the coastal area near Puerta Vallarta, five years after he went missing.

The group eventually caught McDermott, who had been residing under a different name. During a press briefing to wrap up the case, the investigators mentioned that McDermott had simply wished for solitude. Despite all the anguish, Newton-John declined to provide a response to the new information.

A Mother’s Tragedy

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She mentioned that her father resided elsewhere and her mother was often traveling. Due to spending a lot of time alone, she found it difficult to cope. It is possible that Newton-John overlooked her daughter’s requirements when she decided to have full custody.

Fame Over Children

In 2008, Chloe, the daughter of Olivia, revealed to People that during her early years, her mother would frequently leave her alone to go on tours. This caused Chloe to feel lost without the vital emotional bond with her mother.

She remembered, “My mom never had a regular routine of coming home every day and having dinner with the family. I didn’t get to experience a lot of things with her. I felt like she didn’t prioritize me enough so I had to accept it.”

Didn’t Know How To Cope

Newton-John’s neglect of her daughter’s emotional pain resulted in her issues escalating. Chloe recalled how, at 16, she would frequently be left home alone for extended periods.

– It transforms into a sizable lump of despair.
– She coped with the emptiness in her life by drastically limiting her food consumption.
– Although Newton-John wouldn’t acknowledge not loving her daughter, her negligence in providing the necessary attention to the susceptible teenager resulted in catastrophic outcomes.

Dad Saves The Day

Chloe had such a lack of presence from Newton-John in her life that she had to reach out to her father, Matt Lattanzi, to address her difficulties. Chloe admitted to feeling unworthy and struggled with her self-worth.

Initially, Newton-John was unaware of the severity of Chloe’s condition. However, when Chloe’s father started attending therapy sessions with her, her parents eventually took action and sought help. Newton-John was shocked to realize how unwell her daughter had become without her knowledge and was fearful.

Making The Change

Following Chloe’s disclosure to her father about her challenges, it came time for her to address Olivia’s lack of attention. Olivia was taken aback by her own apparent obliviousness.

Chloe mentioned that Newton-John had responded positively to the confrontation. In response, Newton-John stated that she had made an effort to be a part of Chloe’s life and be supportive during her difficult times. However, it remains to be seen whether the couple can successfully overcome their personal resentments.

How It All Started

According to People magazine, Newton-John mentioned that her daughter had a wonderful and peaceful upbringing while living on the beaches of Malibu. She bonded with her father over music and spent her time creating various artistic projects for her mother.

However, Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi, Chloe’s father, separated when she was only 9 years old, and things deteriorated rapidly. For the next few years, she had little interaction with her father and her mother, who was preoccupied with performing worldwide, was absent. As a result, Chloe’s depression deepened.

Healing Themselves

Olivia and her ex-husband reconciled in order to help Chloe overcome her illness. Lattanzi even stayed temporarily in Olivia’s house while their daughter received treatment to provide the best possible support.

They both improved their ability to communicate their affection towards their daughter. Newton-John shared the insight she gained from the difficult time and said, “I truly understood how significant Chloe is to me through this experience.” She added, “We have been doing great since then.”

A Terrifying Flashback

However, Chloe’s difficulties did not come to a halt. On the night of Christmas Eve in 2010, Chloe disappeared while spending time with her friends. This triggered a sudden recollection for Newton-John of her previous experience with a missing person, Patrick McDermott.

When Newton-John last heard about Chloe, she was partying with her friends in Miami. However, she disappeared without any information for more than 12 hours. Later, one of Chloe’s acquaintances informed Newton-John that Chloe had gone to a hotel with some new friends and was sleeping there.

Olivia’s Life Changing News

Olivia Newton-John was prepared to bring her failing career back to life in 1992. She intended to launch a fresh compilation of her most popular songs and was geared up to embark on a tour after her last one, Physical 10 years ago in 1992.

Just before she was set to leave, Newton-John got some terrible news from her doctors – she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Consequently, she had to cancel her tour so that she could concentrate on getting better.

Focusing On Herself

In a quick decision, Newton-John opted for a modified radical mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and underwent surgery promptly. While she remained composed about the surgery, the thought of having to undergo chemotherapy caused her great fear.

Newton-John shared with reporters that she was scared that she might have an allergic reaction and pass away when the needle was injected, but she was determined to prioritize her well-being and not let fear hinder her.

Making Peace With Her Soul

Even though she had some doubts, Newton-John went through surgery and chemotherapy. Additionally, she used alternative medical methods like herbal supplements and acupuncture to help ease her vomiting and intense eye discomfort.

According to her, Olivia Newton-John adopted a comprehensive method where she not only followed the directives of renowned physicians, but she also practiced meditation and engaged in Buddhist prayers with her friends to provide a remedy to her soul. Newton-John was aware that without inner serenity, her recuperation could be impeded.

Blackmailed Into Going Public

Olivia Newton-John desired to maintain her health issues confidential, but an influential magazine found out about her struggle with the illness and coerced her to make it public.

Despite the fact that she was fighting for her life, the last thing she needed was additional stress. However, she was able to find solace in sharing her situation with the public as it helped her cope with her fears while also encouraging others to talk more about early detection and research. This positive development had lifted her spirits.

The Fog Clears

For a period of two years, Olivia battled with the illness until the medical practitioners confirmed that she had attained remission. She acknowledges that her friends and family played a vital role in her recuperation.

According to Newton-John, she felt like she had emerged from the initial shock and confusion caused by her illness, and believed that the recovery process is lengthy and transitional, as it involves overcoming the fear of the illness returning. Despite the fact that she had already passed the five-year mark, Olivia had no idea that the fight was far from over.

Being Her Own Advocate

During a subsequent interview, she revealed that when she was thinking back on her sickness, medical professionals were cautious about considering her symptoms as serious because a mammogram and a needle biopsy showed no signs of malignancy.

In 2013, she informed Saga that she had urged for a surgical biopsy, which eventually confirmed her cancer. It is important to push for further medical examination even when hoping for positive results. This personal encounter with cancer led her to actively support and encourage other women.

Walking The Great Wall

Newton-John channeled her revived energy towards creating albums that emphasized the emotional experience she underwent during her illness, and she utilized her public clout to raise funds for various breast cancer activism groups.

Fundraisers walk to Beijing on Great Wall
Olivia had a desire to expand her ambitions. During a significant fundraising event in 2008, she orchestrated a walk along the entirety of the Great Wall of China, which lasted for a duration of three weeks. Throughout her journey, she was accompanied by other survivors as well as well-known personalities.

Putting Her Money To Good Use

After twenty years from her first diagnosis, Newton-John utilized the funds she collected from her walk and her own resources to establish the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

With the aim to spread her recipes and advice for leading a healthy life, she authored and published a cookbook. But, unfortunately, the bitter illness continues to impact her life, disregarding her sincere efforts.

Suing For Royalties

Newton-John, even after almost four decades since the release of Grease’s soundtrack, had not received her share of royalties from the album’s sales. She became involved in a complicated legal battle with Universal Music Group, who initially attempted to dismiss the lawsuit but eventually yielded to Newton-John’s requirements.

Image: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
The individuals in charge of the music industry asserted that the California court did not have the authority to handle the case. However, when it appeared that the court had a divergent opinion, they opted to reach a resolution with Newton-John instead of proceeding with a trial.

Losing Her Goddaughter

Prior to Olivia’s personal diagnosis, her closest friend Nancy Chuda experienced a heartbreaking event in her family. Nancy’s daughter, Collette Chuda, who was Olivia’s goddaughter, was diagnosed with a typical type of kidney cancer in children when she was only five years old. Olivia was devastated as she witnessed Collette’s health gradually deteriorate.

Nancy mentioned that her daughter had to witness the distressing and uncomfortable therapy that her sister had to endure. Olivia had to keep in mind that the treatment could have diverse effects on her. Fortunately, her experience was not as difficult as Colette’s.

The Physical Controversy

Olivia Newton-John was inspired by Sandy’s approach and made an effort to change her image midway through her career, moving away from the innocent and charming image to a more appealing and alluring style.

In 1981, Olivia released the song Physical which received a lot of excitement from fans due to its highly suggestive nature. However, Olivia was not comfortable with the implications of the song and decided to conceal this by filming a famous music video in a leotard, tights, and sweatband which is now recognized as iconic and popularized the outfit in aerobics classes across the globe. Despite her unease with the song’s edginess, Physical remains her most successful album.

Being Sandra Dee

During the initial stages of her music career, Newton-John and her singing partner Pat Carroll mistakenly scheduled a gig at an adult establishment, Paul Raymond’s Revue bar, without realizing the notoriety of the place.

The couple was wearing simple and conservative frilly dresses with high collars, which stood out from the revealing outfits worn by the rest of the performers. Unfortunately, the bar did not invite them to perform a second time. Despite feeling ashamed, they did not allow this setback to prevent them from pursuing their dreams.

Tragedy Tomorrow

Newton-John has unfortunately experienced multiple family tragedies. One instance occurred in 2013 when her elder sister Rona was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive brain tumor and unfortunately passed away within a month after the diagnosis.

EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Newton-John is Welsh
On her Facebook page, she posted about the news, mentioning that Rona’s passing date coincided with their mother’s birthday. She highlighted that Rona didn’t have to suffer much. Furthermore, she expressed her eternal sorrow for her amazing, clever, talented, humorous, and courageous sister Rona.

Growing Pains

Newton-John didn’t have a good year in 1991. Aside from the tragic death of her goddaughter, she faced a setback in her attempt to broaden her fame by venturing into a line of women’s clothing after starting with an Australian imports store.

Newton-John collaborated with her longtime pal, Pat Carroll, in the enterprise, and despite experiencing some initial triumph, the firm went bankrupt within a short span of time. In 1991, the women were obliged to file for bankruptcy, and the establishment drew its curtains completely in 1992.


Newton-John disappointed her fans in 2017 when she cancelled a scheduled tour due to back pain. Only it turned out to be much worse than she thought. Her cancer had returned, this time, in her sacrum.

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But three months after her initial announcement, she has spoken out about the continued support offered to her by fans, saying her treatments are almost done, and she’s ready to hit the road once more. But it wouldn’t be an Olivia health scare without some controversy…

Alternative Medicine

Newton-John has most recently made headlines for her outspoken advocacy of a particular herbal treatment to manage her cancer pain. Though medicinal varieties are readily available in California, she is on the crusade to make the remedy an accessible option in her native Australia as well.

“It’s an important part of treatment, and it should be available,” she told reporters. “I use it for the pain and it’s also a medicinal thing to do — the research shows it’s really helpful.”

A Serial Monogamist

Newton-John has had a number of high profile relationships, one often flowing into another. Though she first found success as a performer in the 1960s, her relationships with already known artists didn’t begin until she was featured on Cliff Richard’s show in the 1970s, where she met rocker boyfriend Bruce Welch….who was unfortunately still married when they met.

Though the pair eventually got engaged, the relationship soured prior to their nuptials, and Olivia moved on to another turbulent relationship.

Often Mistreated

That was not the end of Olivia’s love life. She immediately fell in love with Lee Kramer when they met on vacation in 1973. He gave up his shoe business to become her manager and their torrid affair progressed quickly, as they moved in with one another shortly after Newton-John resettled in Los Angeles.

But business wriggled its way into their love, as Olivia often resented Kramer’s business decisions. Though the relationship lasted 5 years, a Olivia termed most of it “one long break up”.

From Xanadu to “I do”

But Olivia just couldn’t seem to manage without a man in her life, and despite the drawn out break up with Kramer during the production of Grease, Newton-John was back on the market soon after.

She met Matt Lattanzi, a dancer who is 11 years younger than her when the two began work on Olivia’s other big film success, Xanadu. Lattanzi was only 20 years old when he got involved with Newton-John, too young to know what he wanted in life.

Rushing Ahead

Newton-John and Lattanzi married in 1984, when he was 25 and she was 36. She gave birth to their only daughter, Chloe, in 1986. Even then, their friends found them to be an odd couple, with little in common outside of Xanadu.

They were from vastly different backgrounds, Newton-John came from a family of intellectuals and Lattanzi is descended from blue collar workers. But somehow, they managed to stick it out for over 15 years before the relationship was deemed irreconcilable.

Why He Stayed

When the couple announced their imminent divorce in 1994, People reported that though Newton-John’s illness had kept them together, her recovery made their differences unbridgeable.

Olivia’s niece shared that Lattanzi was unbelievably supportive during her treatment, but afterwards Olivia was far too focused on meditation and spiritual pursuits, while Lattanzi just wanted to spend time with his friends and go scuba diving. It’s interesting now that Lattanzi has recently decided to live off the grid in a Malibu teepee.

The Latest Love

Still, Newton-John needed a partner. It would seem that she finally learned from her tumultuous relationships when she took up with John Easterling, one of her first boyfriends who was not in show business.

He is an herbalist, which fits well with Olivia’s new zen persona. The pair fell in love slowly over the years, and both feel that being in their 60’s has not diminished but rather enhanced the strength of their commitment to one another.

Eloping In Peru

Olivia Newton-John was finally ready to take the next step with Easterling in 2008. Telling no one but her daughter Chloe, the pair snuck off to Peru, where they married in a spiritual ceremony on top of a mountain in Cuzco, the heart of the Andes.

They followed up with a civil ceremony in Florida, and only announced it to their friends and family several weeks later. She told People the secrecy was because “it was the one thing I could keep private.”

Almost Passed Over

Randal Kleiser, the director of the classic 1978 film Grease shared with Bustle in 2015 that he’d very nearly passed over Newton-John for the role of Sandy. Kleiser had been college roommates with George Lucas at University of Southern California.

carrie buns
Star Wars was just wrapping production when casting for Grease began, and Lucas invited Kleiser to look at the Star Wars footage to get a better look at Carrie Fisher, whom he was considering for Sandy. Luckily for Olivia, Kleiser couldn’t get over her ludicrous hairstyle.

Scared To Play Sandy

When Olivia Newton-John was first offered the iconic role of Sandy, complete with an offer to rework the script so she the character would be Australian, Newton-John thought she was too old to play a high schooler.

At 29, Newton-John still possessed an innocent, doe eyed look, to the point that the director was almost worried that they wouldn’t be able to sell her bad girl transformation at the end of the film. Luckily for both, Olivia pulled it off.

A Real Summer Love

And what of the rumors that Newton-John and Grease costar John Travolta had an affair during the shoot? Olivia says none of that is true, as she was still involved in a protracted break up with Lee Kramer.

But she admits she absolutely had a crush on him, and it seems Travolta felt the same about her. The on screen couple recently shared that they did often flirt on set, a testament to why their on screen chemistry was so powerful.

In 1981, George Strait introduced the world to his voice when he released his first single, “Unwound.” Little did Strait know that this would be the start of his very successful career, and one day being dubbed the “King of Country.” Strait managed to have a successful career as well as be a family man. His childhood proved tough, but he persevered graduating from college, and even enrolling in the Army. Yet, though it all seemed to go in a successful path, tragedy struck for Strait and his family in 1986 in a way no one would wish to experience. Read on to discover more about the King of Country.

A Notable Star

George Strait is known as the “King of Country” after becoming one of the most popular recording artists of all time, thanks to his musical success during the 1980s.

Over three decades, Strait has sold 100 million records worldwide, has had the second highest number of albums sold in the history of country music, and has become worth $300 million.

Breaking Records

With 61 number one hits to his name, Strait broke the record for having more number one singles than any other artist in history.

The beginning of his success dates back to 1981, at a time when Strait was ready to give up music but released “Unwound,” changing his life forever. Throughout the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts, and he was later named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music and won his first Grammy award for the album “Troubadour.”

Where It All Started

George’s passion for music began while attending Pearsall High School when George played in a rock garage band. This was when the Beatles came onto the scene and became an inspiration to many. “The Beatles were big,” Strait confirmed.

“I listened to them a lot and that whole bunch of groups that were popular then.” However, while George could appreciate their music, his preference soon turned to country. Strait was introduced to country music from live performances which he claimed could be heard all over Texas.

Early Life

George was born on May 18, 1952, in Poteet, Texas, but grew up in nearby Pearsall, in Frio County. His father, John Byron Strait Sr., was a junior high school mathematics teacher there, and he also owned a 2,000-acre cattle ranch outside of Big Wells, Texas.

The family would work on this ranch during the summer and on the weekends, including his mother, Doris, brother, John Jr., and sister, Pency. However, when George was in the fourth grade, everything changed for their family…

Life Before Music

George’s mother and father divorced, leaving George and his brother to live with their father, and their sister, Pency, moved away with their mother.

The boys continued to spend their weekends on the ranch, and before taking an interest in music, George listened to the news and the farmer’s reports. Strait later enrolled in College at Southwest Texas State University where he studied agriculture but, before all of this, he had met a young lady by the name of Norma and also enrolled in the Army.

Finding His True Love

Norma was George’s high school sweetheart, and the pair eloped in Mexico in 1971 when George was just 19 years old. That same year, George joined the Army and was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.

During his time in the Army, he played for an Army-sponsored band called “Rambling Country.” Four years later, after an honorable discharge in 1975, George went to get his degree in agriculture and followed this by attempting to break through into the music industry.

Winning Lead

George discovered a flyer on campus that said how the little-known country music band, “Stoney Ridge,” was looking for a new lead vocalist. Hoping to get his foot in the music industry, George sensed that this would be a great start and auditioned for the role.

With a man as talented as Strait, it is no surprise that he was quickly given the role as lead vocalist and went on to play all over Texas. However, despite garnering attention from music scouts from Music Row in Nashville, nothing worked out.

The Perfect Sidekick

After making many unsuccessful trips to Nashville, Strait was ready to give up on his musical career in 1981. Little did he know he would one day become a rising star, nor become the “King of Country” for his record-breaking achievements.

It was his wife, Norma, who he had now been with for ten years, who convinced him to give it one more year. Norma obviously saw the potential in her husband, and he certainly now has a lot to thank her for.

When Everything Changed

It was after Norma’s convincing words that MCA signed Strait to a contract. His first single was “Unwound” in 1981, and the song was a hit, leading Strait on the path of success.

He went on to be named the CMA entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 2013, and ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014; Strait has been nominated and has more wins in both categories than any other artist. Moreover, he has since been elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

A Family Man

Just as his music was proving a success, his decision to elope with his high school sweetheart in 1971 has proven one too. George and Norma have spent nearly fifty years of their lives together, and have welcomed two children in that time.

In 1972, while Strait was stationed in Hawaii, Norma gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Jenifer. In 1981, the couple welcomed their son, George Harvey Strait Jr., who inherited the nickname Bubba.

Know A Good Thing When You Have It

George admitted that, after he took Norma on their first date, he did not take her out for a long time.

He said, “Norma was the first girl I ever loved. We knew each other forever, growing up in a small town. I never really even thought anything about her, but then one day I asked her out, and we went on a date. We didn’t see each other for a long time after that. Then one day, I thought, ‘I’m missing the boat here,’ and we started dating again.”

Like Father, Like Son

Bubba became a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roper after graduating, and team roping is a passion that Bubba has been able to share with his famous father.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world to watch my son win a roping, or even to just watch him compete,” George said in an interview with The Team Roping Journal in 2004. “Bubba and I have been fortunate to win a couple of buckles together, and that, my friends, is the ultimate.”

Sharing A Musical Bond

Moreover, Bubba has also shown talent as a songwriter and worked with his father in music. Bubba Strait co-wrote three songs on his father’s 26th studio album, “Twang,” and solo wrote the song, “Arkansas Dave” on the album.

This album marked the first time since 1982 that George Strait had songwriting credits on a record, and even the first single, “Living for the Night,” was co-written by his son with the legendary Dean Dillon. Moreover, the pair has performed on stage together, undoubtedly a proud moment for them both.

Keeping The Family Name

Bubba is all grown up and has a family of his own, but seems to have wished to continue on the family name. Together with his wife Tamara, the couple welcomed two children – a daughter named Jilliann Louise Strait, and a son named George Harvey Strait III, who they call Harvey.

The couple has made Texas hill county their home, and Tamara is a successful realtor who is dedicated to organizations such as Wish For Our Heroes, Methodist Hospital’s Children’s Center, and David Feherty’s Troops First Foundation.

Keeping To Their Vows

In 2011, George and Norma Strait celebrated 40 years together, meaning that George and his wife have spent almost half a lifetime together come 2018. In 2012, Strait spoke to People about his blissful marriage.

He said, “We love each other, and we still like each other. We’re so blessed that we were able to experience this life together, to support each other through everything, good times and bad.” George and Norma certainly have experienced some good times, but disaster struck for the couple in 1986…

A Devastating Heartbreak

George Strait and his wife Norma suffered the tragic loss of their eldest child and only daughter, Jenifer, when she was just 13 years old. On June 25, 1986, Jenifer was a passenger in a car that was involved in a fateful accident, and she was ejected from the vehicle after the collision, which killed her instantly.

In memory of their daughter, George and Norma set up a children’s charity called the Jenifer Lynn Strait Foundation. Moreover, George finally opened up about this tragic incident nearly 20 years later in his music.

Keeping The Faith

George has remained relatively quiet about the incident and doesn’t speak about this terrible time in his family’s lives, but his 2005 song, “You’ll Be There,” makes him think of his daughter.

Speaking to USA Today about this song, George said, “That song hit home for me for obvious reasons. I’m a religious person. I honestly believe we will see each other in heaven someday. I wanted to do the song badly.” Growing up with his religious father, George and his brother were raised “in a real religious atmosphere.”

Keeping The Faith Alive

Speaking of his religious upbringing from his father and the impact it has had on his life, George said, “We’re all Baptists, and he always told me that the Lord would tell me what He wanted me to do with my life; and I kind of believe that’s really true. So I didn’t worry about it much, didn’t think about it that much.”

George turned to his faith once again when it came to getting through the hardships of his daughter’s sudden passing.

Nothing Like Christmas

When it comes to the holidays, the Straits go all out.

“During the winter break, we’re all together as a family. It’s me and Norma and our son. On Christmas, I get up early, while it’s still dark, and make a big fire. The rest of the family is still asleep. I have presents hidden all over the house, and I’ll bring those out. I’ll get out the cookies and milk. I still like to do that for Santa because he’s always hungry.”

Giving Back

Aside from music, George has been a part of many other projects. Together with his long-time friend and business partner, Tom Cusick, the pair created Vaqueros Del Mar (Cowboys of the Sea) Invitational Golf Tournament and Concert, which is held annually at their Texas Hill Country resort, Tapatio Springs Resort, in Boerne, Texas.

Since its beginning in 2012, more than $5 million has been raised by the events, which goes towards David Faherty’s Troops First Foundation, benefitting wounded servicemen, servicewomen, and their families.

Trying His Luck In Film

While being best-known for his musical talents, Strait has acted in several films. He starred in 1982’s The Soldier, 1992’s Pure Country, and appeared as himself in 2002’s Champion.

For his role in Pure Country, Strait played the lead of Dusty Chandler, a famous country singer who strays too far from his country roots and traditional sound. This role allowed Strait to branch out from his musical path into a more rock-and-roll approach, and the soundtrack from the film produced several hits for Strait. That’s not all, however.

Silver Lining

While Pure Country failed to be a box-office success, only bringing in $15 million upon its release, the soundtrack for the film, also called Pure Country, proved to be a great success.

As well as producing several hit singles for Strait, it also became his best-selling album to date, proving that taking the role in the film was certainly worth it for the country star. It seems anything Strait touched turned to gold in some way or another during his career.

A Deserving Honor

In January 2018, George Strait was named the 2018 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference, a statewide group of business and political leaders.

Despite having retired, Strait is still being honored for his different works and gives a performance from time to time. Known to be media-shy, he’s never done much press, but has proven he doesn’t need to. As a man this talented, he has proven to be an honor for Texas, and it unsurprising that he was named the Texan of the Year.

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