X

Feminist Icon, 'I Am Woman' Singer Dead at 78

Helen Reddy became 'part of history,' later quit performing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 30, 2020 1:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her rousing feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78. Reddy’s children Traci and Jordan announced that the actor-singer died Tuesday in Los Angeles, the AP reports. “She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and a truly formidable woman,” they said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.” Reddy’s 1971 version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No. 1. The Australian-born singer enjoyed a prolific career, appearing in Airport 1975 as a singing nun and scoring several hits, including “Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady,” “Delta Dawn,” “Angie Baby,” and “You and Me Against the World.”

story continues below

In 1973 she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for “I Am Woman,” quickly thanking, among others, "God because she makes everything possible" in her acceptance speech. The song, which she also performed at the awards ceremony, would become her biggest hit, used in films and television series. In a 2012 interview with the AP, Reddy cited the gigantic success of “I Am Woman” as one of the reasons she stepped out of public life. “That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book,” she said. “And I thought, `Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.' So, it was an easy withdrawal.” Reddy’s death comes less than three weeks after the release of a biopic about her life called I Am Woman.

(Read more obituary stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X