Rest in Peace Helen Reddy, Acclaimed Singer Known for Her 1970s Feminist Anthem ‘I Am Woman’: 1941-2020

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Helen Reddy, the Australian singer/songwriter/actor and activist known for her early 1970s single “I Am Woman,” has died at the age of 78.

The news was announced on Reddy’s official Facebook page, which relayed an official statement from her children, Traci Donat and Jordan Sommers:

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles. She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.

Statement from Traci Donat and Jordan SommersIt is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved…

Posted by Helen Reddy Official Fan Page on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Jeff Wald, Helen Reddy’s ex-husband, also shared a heartfelt post on Instagram, reflecting on their time together:

Though the official news of Reddy’s passing from her children didn’t cite a cause of death, Entertainment Tonight noted that she had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and had been living at the Motion Picture and Television Home, a nursing home for entertainers, in recent years.

The breakaway success of “I Am Woman” — and the impact it had on the bourgeoning feminist movement of its era — ultimately convinced Reddy to retire. Via CBS News:

“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 recalled. “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.”

Bassist Leland Sklar, renowned session/touring musician who’s also a member of The Immediate Family (alongside fellow session musicians Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, Russ Kunkel and Steve Postell, reflected on Reddy’s passing from the perspective of having recorded with her on the I Am Woman album:

So sad to hear of Helen’s passing. So enjoyed recording with her. RIP

Posted by Leland Sklar on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

News of Reddy’s passing comes just after reports of the death of Mac Davis, also an esteemed songwriter with a legacy of hits in the 1970s, including songs made popular by Elvis Presley. Davis, like Reddy, died at the age of 78.

Rest in peace, Helen Reddy.

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