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Tributes flow for 'incredible' Olivia

Beloved Australian entertainer and international star Olivia Newton-John has been remembered as a friend, a great talent and an inspiration to her fellow performers.

The British-born, Melbourne-raised performer died peacefully in her sleep at her home in California, according to a social media post from husband John Easterling. She was 73 years old.

The singer and actress, who is best known for her role alongside John Travolta in the smash movie musical Grease, endured a recurring battle with breast cancer.

Travolta was among the first to pay tribute to his former co-star, posting on Instagram: "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much."

However the impact of Newton-John's passing also hit hard in Australia on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remembered Newton-John as an inspiration to many.

"The work she did though her cancer research centre was important and inspirational," he tweeted.

"Her legacy will live on, in her music, her films and her determination that one day we will find a cure for cancer."

Kylie Minogue, whose career path followed that of Newton-John with her elevation to international fame from humble beginnings in Melbourne, said on Twitter: "Since I was 10 years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton-John. And, I always will.

"She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways."

Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman described Newton-John as his "first crush".

"Not only was she one of the most talented people I've known ... she was one of the most open hearted, generous and funny. She was a one-of-a-kind spirit," he wrote on Instagram.

"I kissed her (poster) every night before bed. Her legacy will only grow stronger in the years to come. A fighter for healing from cancer that knows no bounds. I love you Olivia."

Singer Delta Goodrem, who played Newton-John in a 2018 biopic, wrote on Instagram that the star was both a mentor and friend.

"The whole world will feel this heartbreak today because the entire world felt Olivia's unmatched light," she said.

"I don't have all the words I would like to say today, but I hope everyone will join in celebrating our beloved Olivia, her heart, soul, talent, courage, grace ... I love you forever."

Austin Health, home of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Centre, said in a statement it was an especially sad day for everyone involved in the facility.

"Olivia was a driving force to win over cancer, for treating the whole person and looking after their mind, spirit and body. Having the opportunity to meet Olivia was a joy, her kindness and light was irrepressible," a spokesperson said.

"The ONJ Centre was her dream, and we are proud of everything we achieved together. We will continue our work to honour her legacy."

The centre is planning a memorial service.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said Newton-John's generosity had saved lives and her advocacy had given people hope.

"She took her cancer journey and use that to save lives," he told reporters.

Newton-John was admitted to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2002 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2019.

ARIA chief executive Annabelle Herd also paid tribute to the performer.

"Her success here and around the world and the personal battles she faced over the years were truly inspirational. We extend our deepest condolences to Olivia's family and friends," she said.

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