Helen Reddy, the Australian singer behind the feminist anthem I̵
Reddy died Tuesday in Los Angeles, her family said in a Facebook statement.
Her children, Tracy Donat and Jordan Somers, described her as “a wonderful mother, grandmother, and a truly fearsome woman.”
“Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live forever.”
Reddy had pop and rock hits in the ’70s, but is best known for the 1972 anthem. I’m a Woman, an exciting tune that became prominent in the women’s liberation movement.
Sleeping hit, he continued to sell millions of copies worldwide, making Reddy the world’s best-selling female artist in two years.
Collecting her Grammy Award for Best Female Vocalist since 1973, Reddy thanked “God for doing her best.”
Born in Melbourne in 1941, Reddy grew up in a family of show business with parent actors and performed regularly as a child.
After winning a talent contest in Australia, her award ticket took her to New York in the 1960s, where she auditioned for a recording contract.
That opportunity failed, but Reddy decided to stay in the United States, later signing with Capitol Records.
Her first hit, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, was followed by a series of others, including Crazy Love, Delta Dawn and Angie Baby.
But it was her second hit, I’m a Woman, which catapulted her to international fame and became a defining song for a generation of women.
Reddy said she wrote the lyrics – with lines like “I’m a woman, hear me roar” and “I’m strong, I’m invincible, I’m a woman” – after trying to find other songs that reflect her pride in that she is a woman.
During the international tour, she also hosted a season of Helen Reddy’s show on NBC TV in a prime time slot in 1973.
A year later, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Diagnosed with dementia in 2015, she spent the last years of her life in a celebrity care home in Los Angeles.
A biographical film called “I’m a Woman” was released in Australia earlier this year.