70's feminist anthem “I Am Woman,” Singer Helen Reddy died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 78 years old. Her death was announced on Facebook by her children, Traci Donat, and Jordan Sommers.
Helen Maxine Reddy was born on 25 October 1941 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. She was an Australian-American singer, songwriter, author, actress, and activist.
Australian singer Helen started her career as an entertainer at age four. She sang on radio and television and won a talent contest on the television program, Bandstand in 1966. Her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which was unsuccessful. She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago and, subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles "One Way Ticket" and "I Believe in Music" in 1968 and 1970 respectively. The B-side of the latter single, "I Don't Know How to Love Him", reached No. 8 on the pop chart of Canadian magazine RPM. She was signed to Capitol Records a year later. During the 1970s, Reddy enjoyed international success, especially in the United States where she placed 15 singles on the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the Top 10 and three reached No. 1, including her signature hit "I Am Woman".
She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the Top 10 and eight reached No. 1, six consecutively. In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. On television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries. Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single "I Can't Say Goodbye to You" became her last to chart in the US, Reddy acted in musicals and recorded albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002. She returned to university in Australia, earned a degree, and practiced as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing "Breezin' Along with the Breeze" with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond's birthday, Reddy decided to return to live to perform.
After her feminist song, "I Am Woman" played a significant role in popular culture and becoming an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a "feminist poster girl". In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 women). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the "Queen of '70s Pop".