Helen Reddy
Australian actor
Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy is an Australian American singer and actress and activist. She is often referred to as the "Queen of 70s Pop". In the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States, where she placed fifteen singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six of those 15 songs made the Top 10 and three of those songs reached No. 1, including her signature hit "I Am Woman. " She also placed 25 singles on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.
Biography
Helen Reddy's personal information overview.
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20 Female Empowerment Anthems That Will Get You Pumped For The Women's March
Huffington Post - about 1 month
This article is adapted from a post originally published on my blog, Musings from The FeMOMist, on June 1, 2016. To read the original piece, click here. Are you planning to march on January 21st, either in Washington, DC at the Women’s March on Washington, or at one of the sister marches throughout the country? I know that I am, and I am hopeful that the March will be an epic turning point for women’s rights in this country; possibly the one silver lining to come out of the 2016 election. The March is about justice and equality for all women, which shouldn’t be a controversial concept, yet pop culture and our society at large are constantly sending messages to girls and women that justice and equality is overrated or is somehow unnecessary. Cue these fierce anthems of female empowerment, recorded by women artists from the 1960s until the present, which help combat patriarchal notions that are deeply engrained in our psyches. Why not make a playlist and play it on an endless loo ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Husband Serenades Wife Of 70 Years With Sentimental Anniversary Song
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Love really can last a lifetime. Martin and Rose Napolitano of Scranton, Pennsylvania celebrated 70 years of marriage on June 15. Marking the milestone, Martin serenaded Rose with Helen Reddy’s song “You and Me Against the World” as he held her close ― a moment that was captured on video by a family member.  “We did it, honey,” Martin told his beloved wife in the video. “We did it. Our grandchildren are proud we did it. 90 and 91― we did it. We did it right ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar
Huffington Post - about 1 year
So as much as I am an "animal person" I have to admit, when I see or hear a lion roaring it frightens me. And yes I said "see" because the look alone makes me nervous. There is so much power and passion that comes out of that roar. Thank God those animals are in exotic places like Africa, India, etc. They were made for the wild open savannahs out there where roaring is appropriate, expected and accepted. How startling would it be if you were to walk out of your office and hear a lion roaring? You probably won't believe it's a lion because that would definitely be out of place. Have you ever heard someone use the phrase "I Am Woman, Hear me Roar"? I did some research online and discovered that the phrase actually came from a song by Helen Reddy entitled "I Am Woman" that was released back in the 70's. It was tied to her search for a song that would capture her growing passion for female empowerment. When I first heard that phrase used, I thought it was powerful! It made me stick m ...
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Huffington Post article
Jackson Katz: Conservatives Mock Eve Ensler on Right-wing Talk Radio
Huffington Post - over 3 years
For millions of women and men around the world, the playwright Eve Ensler is a beloved figure. She represents the epitome of the politically engaged artist, someone who uses her creative brilliance to illuminate injustice and give voice to the voiceless. She is also one of the best-known activists of our time on the global scourge of men's violence against women, a heroine for countless victims of rape and abuse, and those who care about them. As you might expect, she's much less highly regarded on the right. Consider how she and her work were treated on a national conservative talk radio show that aired on July 4. An influential executive from the conservative Salem Radio Network, Lee Habeeb, was guest-hosting on one of the network's properties, The Dennis Prager Show. His guest was the right-wing author and "documentary" filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza was there to promote his current film project, a conservative take on the greatness of America, and a follow-up to ...
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Huffington Post article
George Heymont: Must It Always Be a Man's World?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
If the past six months proved anything about the battle between the sexes, it was that many men (though they may be married to women) have absolutely no idea how women think or feel. Their calls for transvaginal ultrasounds, idiotic notions about "legitimate rape," insistence on defunding Planned Parenthood, and the ease with which cretins like Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke (or with which Mitt Romney assumed that women only voted for President Obama so they could get the "gift" of free birth control) made it clear that married men don't know much about their wives. Or, for that matter, single women. Conservatives like Bill O'Reilly want to take the country back to the 1950s, when the perceived ideal was a family headed by Ward and June Cleaver. Unfortunately, what these men really want is to travel even further back in time to the early 1900s. In the following scene from Act I of Hello, Dolly! Horace Vandergelder explains why he's planning to get married again: ...
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Huffington Post article
Helen Reddy stepping back into spotlight in Folsom
The Sacramento Bee - over 4 years
Helen Reddy retired a decade ago. But show business, which also is the family business, has pulled her back in. Helen Reddy and her songs including "I Am Woman" helped propel women in the 1970s. She will sing songs that she's recorded, but not necessarily her greatest hits, during a performance Monday night at Three Stages in Folsom.
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The Sacramento Bee article
Singer Helen Reddy emerges from retirement
CBS News - over 4 years
After a decade, the "I am Woman" vocalist makes her return to the stage
Article Link:
CBS News article
Music: Set List: ’70s hitmaker Paul Williams on having his songs sung by The Carpenters and The Muppets 
A.V. Club - over 4 years
In Set List, we talk to veteran musicians about some of their most famous songs, learning about their lives and careers, and maybe hearing a good backstage anecdote or two in the process. The artist: As the title of the new documentary, Paul Williams Still Alive, reveals, the songwriter who wrote top-10 hits for the likes of Barbra Streisand, The Carpenters, and Three Dog Night is still hard at work, fending off the advances of prying filmmakers while soaking up the love of Filipino fans. Although a performer in his own right, and an unlikely star in the ’70s, Williams is best known for his lyrics, providing heartfelt sentiments to performers as diverse as Helen Reddy and Kermit The Frog. The Carpenters, “We’ve Only Just Begun” (from 1970’s Close To You)  Paul Williams: I actually went to Paris to work on a project with Michel Colombier and Herb ... Read more
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A.V. Club article
Pamela T. Reid: Women Leaders Still Face Challenges
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Education is a critical aspect in preparing young women for the challenges of the world. This was particularly clear to me when I attended the Women in Public Service Colloquium hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last December in Washington, DC. The participants included former Secretary of State Madeline Albright; Christine Legarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Atifete Jahjaga, the president of Kosovo; Laura Chinchilla, the president of Costa Rica and Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture in Liberia, among numerous other female ambassadors, foreign ministers, U.S. government officials, U.S. women admirals and, yes, presidents of women's colleges. The agenda was simple: to inspire and encourage women to take on leadership roles in their communities. From every corner the message was the same: women can, and should, make significant contributions to the well-being of their countries. Women from around the world shared their strategi ...
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Huffington Post article
Dick Clark’s biggest impact was personal
PB Pulse - almost 5 years
He showed us how to dance, what music to listen to, and gave us something to do on New Year’s Eve. For generations of Americans, Dick Clark was more than just a TV host; he was the person who helped shape key memories in our lives. In judging Clark’s accomplishments, some might use his giant television empire as the benchmark: He made millions of dollars as a television entrepreneur, showing far more business savvy than you’d expect from someone with a slightly derisive nickname, “America’s oldest living teenager.” Game shows, award shows, bloopers, the American Music Awards — hours of television were filled by Dick Clark Productions, and Ryan Seacrest’s career follows Clark’s blueprint. But for most Americans, their memories of Clark are personal. He came to them in their living room with “American Bandstand,” counting down the hits, introducing the latest dance moves and hair styles, and chatting up the pop act of the hour who would stop by lip-synch their new songs. Or they ...
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PB Pulse article
A FAIR LOOK BACK - Hutchinson News
Google News - over 5 years
A celebrated example had been Helen Reddy's no-show in 1977: She had canceled, saying she had a sore throat. An investigation showed she performed in concert in Los Angeles the next day. The fair sued; she countersued and then promised to appear the
Article Link:
Google News article
Allison Pearson: 'I don't know how I did it all those years' - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
And so Katharine Helen Reddy was born in a weekly column. I named her Kate after one of my heroines, the scintillatingly brisk Katharine Hepburn. The Helen Reddy came from the singer-songwriter whose ballad of female empowerment I used to dance round
Article Link:
Google News article
My Shout: I am woman hear me roar - Manning River Times
Google News - over 5 years
OF course those as closely aligned with the great cause of feminism as this correspondent will recognise this as the opening line to our anthem - I Am Woman, by Helen Reddy. We've been a card carrying feminist for as long as we understood what the term
Article Link:
Google News article
'Sex, Pies and a Few White Lies' in St. John's - The Telegram
Google News - over 5 years
For the next decade or so, she worked as an actor and writer for theatre, film and television until moving to Los Angeles to write for “The Helen Reddy Show” and “An Evening at the Improv.” “Sex, Pies and a Few White Lies,” Parker's first show in
Article Link:
Google News article
New DVDs due for release Sept. 6 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
With David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Nathaniel Parker, Helen Reddy. (R; language, some violence, brief sex) Not reviewed. WRECKED. A man crawls from a car wreck without his memory, only to discover he's not a very nice person
Article Link:
Google News article
DVD releases - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
Standard praise for his cast includes a shout-out to Helen Reddy, who plays a nosy neighbor. (Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98) You've heard the old contention that Seventeen magazine is really for readers years younger
Article Link:
Google News article
Local residents Roar for charity - Greenwich.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
The group were joined by 'The Survivor Birds' at the Angel Studios in north London to record a version of the Helen Reddy-classic, 'I Am Woman'. Money raised by the song, which is available as a CD and as a download via iTunes, will be used to support
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Helen Reddy
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 73
    On 6 August 2015, Reddy's family issued a statement confirming that she has retired from live performances and was now living in the nursing home, but denying reports that she suffers from dementia.
    More Details Hide Details Reddy became a naturalized American citizen in 1974, subsequently availing herself of the opportunity to maintain dual American/Australian citizenship when the opportunity was made available. "I feel like I'd like to have a cup of tea and a good cry," Reddy said after the ceremony. Reddy has been active in community affairs; in the 1970s she helped raise millions of dollars for Democrat political candidates. In 1978, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Reddy to the nine-member commission overseeing the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Her nomination was unanimously approved. She served on the commission for three years. Reddy is an enthusiastic genealogist; she has researched her family's history extensively and founded the Tasmanian Genealogical Society. "Genealogy is addictive; it begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, then a passion, and finally an obsession. Not only with each generation uncovered does the number of people to investigate double but so too does the desire to understand the forces that shaped them," she writes in her autobiography.
    In July 2015, it was reported that Reddy was being treated for symptoms of dementia.
    More Details Hide Details Her family issued a statement via her Facebook page that Reddy was now retired from concerts and had become a resident of the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California.
    In April 2015 Reddy released a cover of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" for the album "Keep Calm and Salute the Beatles" on the Purple Pyramid label.
    More Details Hide Details A frequent guest on talk shows and variety programs of the 1970s and early 1980s — with credits including The Bobby Darin Show, The Carol Burnett Show, and The Muppet Show — Reddy helmed the 1973 summer replacement series for The Flip Wilson Show (Reddy had become friends with Flip Wilson when she'd worked the Chicago club circuit early in her career); the series, The Helen Reddy Show, provided early national exposure for Albert Brooks and the Pointer Sisters. Also in 1973, Reddy became the semi-regular host of the NBC late night variety show The Midnight Special, a position she retained until 1975.
    The following January 2015, Reddy performed two nights at Orleans Hotel Showroom in Las Vegas.
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  • 2014
    Age 72
    She performed two nights at Catalina Supper Club, Los Angeles in November 2014, shortly after her 73rd birthday.
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  • 2013
    Age 71
    Reddy performed at the Paramount nightclub at The Crown & Anchor in Provincetown on 13 October 2013.
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  • 2012
    Age 70
    On 12 July 2012, Reddy returned to the musical stage at Croce's Jazz Bar in San Diego and for a benefit concert for the arts at St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, outside of Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details Reddy also sang a duet ("You're Just in Love") with senior choir member Rosalind Smith. Being more in control of her performances also appeals to Reddy, who said, "I have more leeway in the songs that I choose to sing. I'm not locked into what the record company wants." She explained, "One of the reasons that I'm coming back to singing is because I'm not doing the greatest hits. I'm doing the songs that I always loved. So many are album cuts that never got any airplay, and they're gorgeous songs." She also does perform many of her best-known songs, including, "Angie Baby," "You and Me Against the World", a medley of "Delta Dawn"/"Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," and "I Am Woman," reasoning on the latter that it's her signature song and one that the audience "comes to hear."
    In 2012, Reddy decided to return to performing after being buoyed by the warm reception she received when she sang at her sister's 80th birthday party. "I hadn't heard my voice in 10 years, and when I heard it coming over the speaker, it was like: 'Oh, that’s not bad.
    More Details Hide Details Maybe I should do that again,'" Reddy explained in 2013.
  • 2011
    Age 69
    In 2011, after singing "Breezin' Along with the Breeze" with her sister, Toni Lamond, for Toni's birthday, she decided to return to live performing.
    More Details Hide Details Her song "I Am Woman" played a large role in popular culture and became an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a "feminist poster girl" or a "feminist icon". In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 woman). Helen Reddy was born into a well-known Australian show business family in Melbourne, where she attended Tintern Grammar. Her mother, Stella Campbell (née Lamond), was an actress, and her father, Maxwell David "Max" Reddy, was a writer, producer, and actor. Her half-sister, Toni Lamond, and her nephew, Tony Sheldon, are actor-singers. She has Irish, Scottish and English ancestry. Her great grandfather, Scotsman Thomas Lamond, was a one-time mayor of Waterloo, New South Wales, whose patron was Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead. Her maternal grandmother, Stella Lamond (née Pearl), sang and danced in small parts at the Majestic Theatre in Sydney. Patsy Reddy, New Zealand's Governor-General designate, is a distant cousin.
  • 2008
    Age 66
    For several years Reddy maintained that she would not return to the stage. In 2008, she stated, "It's not going to happen.
    More Details Hide Details I've moved on," and explained that her voice had deepened to a lower key and she wasn't sure if she would be able to sing some of her hits. She also said she had simply lost interest in performing. "I have very wide-ranging interests," she said. "So, singing 'Leave Me Alone' 43 times per song lost its charm a long time ago."
    In April 2008, Reddy was reported to be living "simply and frugally off song royalties, pension funds, and social security renting a 13th-floor apartment with a 180-degree view of Sydney Harbour."
    More Details Hide Details Her apartment had been recently appraised, causing Reddy concern over its future affordability; however, the New York-based landlord learned his tenant's identity and wrote her: "I had no idea it was 'the' Helen Reddy who was living in my unit. Because of what you have done for millions of women all over the world, I will not sell or raise your rent. I hope you'll be very happy living there for years to come."
  • 2002
    Age 60
    Reddy announced her retirement from performing in 2002, giving her farewell performance with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, she moved from her longtime residence in Santa Monica, California back to her native Australia to spend time with her family, living first on Norfolk Island, before taking up residence in Sydney. She also earned a degree in clinical hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming. She was a practising clinical hypnotherapist, and Patron of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2000
    Age 58
    Reddy's final album to date was the 2000 seasonal release The Best Christmas Ever.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1990
    Age 48
    In 1990, Reddy issued Feel So Young — on her own label —an album which included remakes of Reddy's repertoire favourites; her one interim recording had been the 1987 dance maxi-single "Mysterious Kind", on which Reddy had vocally supported Jessica Williams. 1997 saw the release of Center Stage, an album of show tunes which Reddy recorded for Varèse Records; the track "Surrender" – originating in Sunset Boulevard – was remixed for release as dance maxi-single.
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  • 1983
    Age 41
    In June 1983 she married Milton Ruth, a drummer in her band; the couple divorced in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details In 1979, the Supersisters trading card set was produced and distributed; one of the cards featured Reddy's name and picture.
    MCA released one further Reddy album: Imagination, in 1983; it would prove to be Reddy's final release as a career recording artist.
    More Details Hide Details The unsuccessful Imagination was released just after the finalisation of Reddy's divorce from Wald whose subsequent interference in her career Reddy would blame for the decline of her career profile in the mid-1980s: "Several of my performing contracts were canceled, and one promoter told me he couldn't book me in case a certain someone 'came after him with a shotgun.'" Reddy states that she was effectively being blacklisted from her established performance areas which led to her pursuing a career in theatre, where Wald had no significant influence.
  • 1982
    Age 40
    In 1982, after finding evidence of Wald's continued substance abuse, Reddy again separated from him and initiated divorce proceedings, which this time went through in January 1983.
    More Details Hide Details They agreed to shared custody of their son Jordan, but later became embroiled in a court battle after both filed for sole custody. Her son later changed his name to Jordan Sommers and became her assistant.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1981
    Age 39
    Reddy's 14 November 1981 Top of the Pops performance brought "I Can't Say Goodbye to You" into the UK Top 50; the track would rise there no higher than No. 43, but in Ireland reached No. 16, giving Reddy her final high placing on a major national chart.
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    May 1981 saw the release of Play Me Out, Reddy's debut album for MCA Records, who Reddy said had "made me a deal we and Wald couldn't refuse"; "we shopped around and felt the most enthusiasm at MCA."
    More Details Hide Details In fact, Reddy's new label affiliation would result in only one minor success: her remake of Becky Hobbs's 1979 country hit "I Can't Say Goodbye to You" returned her for the last time to the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 88; it also returned Reddy to the charts in the UK and Ireland (her sole previous hit in both was "Angie Baby").
    Without the impetus of any major hits, Reddy's four Capitol album releases subsequent to Ear Candy failed to chart. In 1981, Reddy would say: "I signed Capitol ten years ago And when you are with a company so long you tend to be taken for granted.
    More Details Hide Details For the last three years I didn't feel I was getting the support from them."
  • 1977
    Age 35
    Of Reddy's eight subsequent single releases on Capitol, five reached the Easy Listening Top 50 – including "Candle on the Water", from the 1977 Disney film Pete's Dragon (which starred Reddy).
    More Details Hide Details Only three ranked on the Billboard Hot 100: "The Happy Girls" (No. 57) – the follow-up to "You're My World" and, besides "I Am Woman", Reddy's only chart item which she co-wrote – and the disco tracks "Ready or Not" (No. 73) and "Make Love to Me" (No. 60), the latter a cover of an Australian hit by Kelly Marie – which gave Reddy a lone R&B chart ranking at No. 59. Reddy had also ranked at No. 98 on the country chart with "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler", the B-side to "The Happy Girls".
    Reddy's 1977 remake of Cilla Black's 1964 hit "You're My World" indicated comeback potential, with a No. 18 peak, but this track – co-produced by Kim Fowley – would prove to be Reddy's last Top 40 hit.
    More Details Hide Details Its parent album, Ear Candy, Reddy's 10th album, would become her first album to not attain at least Gold status since her second full-length release, 1972's Helen Reddy. In 1978, Reddy sang as a backup singer on Gene Simmons's solo album on the song True Confessions.
  • 1976
    Age 34
    In 1976, Reddy covered the Beatles song "The Fool on the Hill" for the musical documentary All This and World War II.
    More Details Hide Details Reddy was also instrumental in furthering the career of friend Olivia Newton-John, encouraging her to move from Britain to the United States in the early 1970s, giving her the best opportunity to expand her career. At a subsequent party at Reddy's house after a chance meeting with Allan Carr, the film's producer, Newton-John then won the starring role in the hit film version of the musical Grease. Reddy was most successful on the Easy Listening chart, scoring eight No. 1 hits there over a three-year span, from "Delta Dawn" in 1973 to "I Can't Hear You No More" in 1976. However, the latter track evidenced a sharp drop in popularity for Reddy, with a No. 29 peak on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • 1975
    Age 33
    In a 1975 People interview, Reddy admitted that her relationship with then-husband and manager Wald was volatile with the couple having "huge, healthy fights" but that she owed her success—she was then the world's most successful female vocalist for two years running—to Wald: "He runs it all.
    More Details Hide Details Naturally when the moment of performance comes I have to deliver—but everything else is him. It's not my career; it's our career." By 2 January 1981, Reddy and Wald had separated and he had moved into a Beverly Hills rehab facility to treat an eight-year cocaine addiction, a $100,000 a year habit. Reddy subsequently filed for divorce, yet withdrew her petition the day after filing it, stating: "After thirteen years of marriage, a separation of one month is too short to make a decision."
    Her film career includes a starring role in Walt Disney's Pete's Dragon, introducing the Oscar-nominated song "Candle on the Water" and an extended cameo as a nun in Airport 1975 – singing her own composition "Best Friend" –.
    More Details Hide Details For her part in Airport 1975, Reddy was nominated for a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. Reddy was one of many musical stars featured in the all-star chorale in the 1978 film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and has since played cameo roles in the films Disorderlies (1987) and The Perfect Host (2010). Despite her late 1970s chart decline, Reddy still had sufficient star power in 1979 to host "The Helen Reddy Special" broadcast that May, on ABC-TV; Jeff Wald was the producer. In September 1981, Reddy announced she would be shooting the pilot for her own TV sitcom, in which she would play a single mother working as a lounge singer in Lake Tahoe. However, this project was abandoned. Reddy has been an occasional television guest star as an actress, appearing on the series The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Jeffersons (as herself), Diagnosis: Murder, and BeastMaster.
  • 1974
    Age 32
    On July 23, 1974, Reddy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the music industry, located at 1750 Vine Street.
    More Details Hide Details At the height of her fame in the mid-1970s, Reddy was a headliner, with a full chorus of backup singers and dancers to standing-room-only crowds on The Strip in Las Vegas. Among Reddy's opening acts were Joan Rivers, David Letterman, Bill Cosby and Barry Manilow.
  • 1972
    Age 30
    Reddy's stardom was solidified when her single "I Am Woman" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1972.
    More Details Hide Details The song was co-written by Reddy with Ray Burton; Reddy has attributed the impetus for writing "I Am Woman" and her early awareness of the women's movement to expatriate Australian rock critic and pioneer feminist Lillian Roxon. Reddy is quoted in Fred Bronson's The Billboard Book of Number One Hits as saying that she was looking for songs to record which reflected the positive self-image she had gained from joining the women's movement, but could not find any, so "I realized that the song I was looking for didn't exist, and I was going to have to write it myself." "I Am Woman" was recorded and released in May 1972 but barely dented the charts in its initial release. However, female listeners soon adopted the song as an anthem and began requesting it from their local radio stations in droves, resulting in its September chart re-entry and eventual No. 1 peak. "I Am Woman" earned a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. At the awards ceremony, Reddy concluded her acceptance speech by famously thanking God "because She makes everything possible". The success of "I Am Woman" made Reddy the first native of Australia to top the U.S. charts.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1971
    Age 29
    It became a hit – No. 13 in June 1971 – and Helen Reddy was on her way."
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  • 1968
    Age 26
    In 1968, she married Jeff Wald, a native of The Bronx.
    More Details Hide Details She converted to Judaism before marrying Wald, with whom she had a son, Jordan Sommers, born in 1972.
    While in Chicago, Reddy gained a reputation singing in local lounges – including Mister Kelly's – and, in the spring of 1968, she landed a deal with Fontana Records, a division of major label Chicago-based Mercury Records.
    More Details Hide Details Her first single, "One Way Ticket", on Fontana was not an American hit, but it did give Reddy her first ever appearance on any chart as it peaked at No. 83 in her native Australia. Within a year, Wald relocated Reddy and Traci to Los Angeles, where he was hired at Capitol Records, the label under which Reddy was to attain stardom; however, Wald was hired and fired the same day. Reddy became frustrated as Wald found success managing such acts as Deep Purple and Tiny Tim without making any evident effort to promote her; after 18 months of career inactivity, Reddy gave Wald an ultimatum: "he must either revitalize her career or get out... Jeff threw himself into his new career as Mr. Helen Reddy. Five months of phone calls to Capitol Records executive Artie Mogull finally paid off: Mogull agreed to let Helen cut one single if Jeff promised not to call for a month. She did 'I Believe in Music' penned by Mac Davis b/w 'I Don't Know How to Love Him' from Rice and Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. The A-side fell flat but then some Canadian DJ's flipped the record over and...
    In the spring of 1968, Martin St. James – a hypnotist/entertainer and fellow Australian she had met in New York City – threw Reddy a party with an admission price of $5 to enable Reddy – then down to her last $12 – to pay her rent.
    More Details Hide Details It was on this occasion that Reddy met her future manager and husband Jeff Wald, a 22-year-old secretary at the William Morris Agency who crashed the party: Reddy told People in 1975, "Wald didn't pay the five dollars, but it was love at first sight." Wald recalled that he and Reddy married three days after meeting and, along with daughter Traci, the couple took up residence at the Hotel Albert in Greenwich Village. Reddy later stated that she married Wald "out of desperation over her right to work and live in the United States." According to New York Magazine, Wald was fired from William Morris soon after having met Reddy, and "Helen supported them for six months doing $35-a-night hospital and charity benefits. They were so broke that they snuck out of a hotel room carrying their clothes in paper bags." Reddy recalled: "When we did eat, it was spaghetti, and we spent what little money we had on cockroach spray." They left New York City for Chicago and Wald landed a job as talent coordinator at Mister Kelly's.
  • 1966
    Age 24
    Reddy recalled her 1966 appearance at the Three Rivers Inn in Syracuse, New York – "there were like twelve people in the audience" – as typical of her early U.S. performing career.
    More Details Hide Details Her lack of a work permit made it difficult to obtain any singing jobs in the U.S., and she was forced to make several trips to Canada which did not require work permits for citizens of Commonwealth countries like Australia.
    After arriving in New York in 1966, she was informed by Mercury that her prize was only the chance to audition for the label, and that Mercury considered the Bandstand footage to constitute her audition, which was deemed unsuccessful.
    More Details Hide Details Despite possessing only $200 and a return ticket to Australia, she elected to remain in the United States with 3-year-old Traci and pursue a singing career.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1941
    Born
    Born on October 25, 1941.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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