Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta: ‘You’re the One That I Want’

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Newton-John and Travolta on Dec. 13, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

More than 40 years after John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John co-starred in the musical film, Grease, the pair performed a series of sing-a-longs in December 2019. The concerts, billed as “Meet ‘N’ Grease,” took place over three nights in Florida. The three events began on Dec. 13 in West Palm Beach at Coral Sky Amphitheatre.

The other performances, which included Q-and-A’s, were held on Dec. 14 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, and Dec. 15 at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville.

The event listing noted: “It’s the Rydell High School reunion event of the year. There will be a massive screening of the Grease Sing-A-Long film, followed by a special, intimate Q&A with Travolta and Newton-John. All audience members are encouraged to come dressed as your favorite character from Grease.”

The two stars, dressed in costume for the first time since they made the movie, gamely sang portions of several of the musical’s memorable songs including “Sandy” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Newton-John sounded great, though she noted that she hadn’t sung in over a year.

Watch an extended portion of the Dec. 13 event

The film arrived on June 16, 1978. The first single released from the soundtrack was a duet with the film’s stars: “You’re the One That I Want” ultimately reached #1 on June 10. [It’s the 14th best-selling physical [i.e., non-digital] single in history, with a reported 15 million copies sold. Among those ahead of it: Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997,” USA For Africa’s “We Are the World” and Bill Haley & the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock.”]

The pair scored a second single, “Summer Nights,” which helped the 2-LP to claim the #1 spot on the album sales chart for 16 weeks.

An ad for the single appeared in the March 25, 1978, issue of Record World

gRelated: Only 6 albums topped the U.S. chart in 1978

The film, produced by Robert Stigwood and Allan Carr, set many box-office records and became the highest-grossing musical ever, topping 1965’s The Sound of Music. (It remained the #1 live action movie musical until 2012.) It’s earned $396 million on a budget of a reported $6 million.

In recent years, Newton-John, who turns 72 on September 26, has had a reoccurrence of cancer. She continues to fight it. On Nov. 2, she auctioned over 200 iconic items from her recording and film career, including costumes and accessories from Grease. Travolta turned 65 on February 18.

Related: Our 2017 Newton-John concert review

Watch the stars and their fans sing-a-long to two of the film’s favorites

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