Singer Helen Reddy, whose 1972 chart-topper “I Am Woman” became a feminist anthem and who recorded a string of other hits, died Friday, her family said in a statement. She was 78.
“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,” her children Traci and Jordan shared via Facebook. “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.”
Reddy had 20 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart during her career, including three No. 1 hits: “I Am Woman,” which won a Grammy Award, “Delta Dawn,” and “Angie Baby,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reddy also had 24 entries on the adult contemporary airplay chart, with eight No. 1s, according to Billboard.
Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia, and both of her parents were actors, Rolling Stone reported.
She co-wrote “I Am Woman” with Ray Burton, a song inspired by Reddy’s involvement in the women’s movement, the magazine reported. However, the song climbed to the top of the chart in December 1972 and spent 22 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. She won a Grammy for the song, and during her acceptance speech she thanked “God, because She makes everything possible,” Rolling Stone reported.
“Delta Dawn” spent 20 weeks on the charts and peaked at No. 1 in September 1973. “Angie Baby” hit No. 1 in December 1974 and was on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks.
Other Reddy hits were “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress),” which rose to No. 3 in December 1973, and “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady,” which peaked at No. 8 in October 1975.
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