Reddy was diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and was living in a Los Angeles nursing home for professional entertainment.
A statement by Reddy’s children, Tracy and Jordan, was posted on their official fan page on Tuesday afternoon.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved mother Helen Reddy on the afternoon of 29 September 2020 in Los Angeles,” the statement said.
“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our heart is broken. But we know that her voice will live forever.”
Reddy was perhaps once called the “Queen of Housewife Rock” by Alice Cooper, but her music captured the women’s generation of the radical and racist second-wave feminist movement in the sixties.
Reddy became a star at the time despite pushback from record companies, many of whom believed that women could make less money in music. In the early 70s, Reddy’s songs dominated the Billboard charts. In 1972, she won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Singer for I Am Woman, becoming the first Australian to do so. She was the world’s best-selling female singer in 1973 and 1974.
By the end of his career, Reddy had 15 top 40 singles and three no. 1 hit, including his most popular, I’m Woman, and sold more than 25m albums in the United States alone.
Reddy was born in Melbourne in 1941 to a family performing arts. Before leaving for an independent career, he left school at 15 to perform on the road.
At the age of 20, Reddy met and married musician Kenneth Veit. The relationship was short-lived; After it was over, Reddy moved back to Sydney with his baby girl Tracy.
She moved to New York in 1966 with Tracy after winning a talent contest that offered the winner a possible recording opportunity for Mercury Records. She was unsuccessful, despite being very unsuccessful and unsuccessful and tried to remain in the states and pursue a career as a singer. Due to her visa issues, she traveled to Canada to work.
In 1968, she met her future music manager Jeff Wald at a party. The couple got married quickly and Reddy decided to stay in the US.
Reddy, Wald and Tracy lived frugally until, after continued lobbying, Wald managed to give Reddy the opportunity to record a single at Capital Records. It was the intention of that single on the B-side, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, which kicked off Reddy’s career. 13 on the Billboard charts in 1971.
I Am Woman was released the following year, and topped the charts by December, Reddy was the first Australian singer to achieve a number one hit in the United States.
I Am Woman established a series of hits for Reddy, including Delta Dawn, Angie Baby, Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) and You and Me Against the World. By the mid-70s, she was performing to pack crowds in Vegas, with her picks for Joan River and Barry Manilow.
He appeared on talk shows and various shows including The Bobby Darin Show, The Muppet Show, and took a recurring co-hosting slot on The Midnight Special.
Reddy also developed a modest film and TV career, including roles in the thriller Airport 1975 (1974) and the family film, Pete Dragon (1977). Later in life, she cameo as her own on Family Guy.
Reddy’s music career took off in the 1980s, but I’m Woman is still reappearing around the industry, in film and TV soundtracks, and as a pop culture shorthand for feminist empowerment. In 2006, Reddy was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame.
Reddy’s former husband and manager Jeff Wald reflected a piece for the Guardian in August this year on the record companies’ approach to Reddy’s success. “Record officials said: record How can you tell your wife about the workload of women? This will end his career! ” They said. “I don’t let him do anything”. I did not marry anyone whom you ‘let go’.
Reddy’s life and career came as a feature film, I’m Woman, directed by Anju Moon and immortalized as Reddy starring Tilda Kohm-Hervey.
Moon paid tribute to Reddy in a statement on Tuesday, saying, “When I first met Helen Reddy, she told me that I would be in her life for many years.” This was followed by a wonderful friendship of seven years, during which he entrusted me with the responsibility to tell him about his story, his talent and his amazing legacy in his film.
“I will always be grateful to Helen for teaching me so much about being an artist, a woman and a mother. He paved the way for so much and the song he wrote for I Am Woman changed my life forever like he has done for so many people and will continue to do for generations to come. ”
Reddy is survived by his children Tracy and Jordan and his sister Tony Lomondo.