Imbruglia, who also co-hosted the ceremony alongside G Flip and Ruel, led Kye and Peking Duk in the tribute. Tones and I – who won the ARIA Award for Song Of The Year for ‘Cloudy Day’ – served as the musical director of the medley, and also appeared during the group’s rendition of ‘You’re The One That I Want’.
The tribute began with a video message from John Travolta, who co-starred alongside Newton-John in the 1978 film, Grease. “I love you Liv. I honestly love you”, Travolta said.
Besides that track, Kye sung Newton-John’s ’Xanadu’ alongside pink-clothed dancers, while Imbruglia performed ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’, which re-entered the ARIA Top 5 earlier this year.
In her own tribute message broadcast during the ceremony, Newton-John’s daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, tearfully thanked the ARIA Awards and the public for “continually remembering my mum”. Lattanzi recalled her mother being “grateful and moved by all the support she received during her cancer battle”, and encouraged audiences to support Newtown-John’s foundation “so that my mum’s dream can come true — a world without cancer.”
“Enjoy life like my mum did,” she added.
— Channel9 (@Channel9) November 24, 2022
Newtown-John was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2002, having been nominated for three awards throughout her career. In 1999, she took home the trophy for the now-discontinued ARIA Award for Highest Selling Album, before being nominated again in 2015 for Best Adult Contemporary Album for ‘Two Strong Hearts Live’.
The tribute medley was one of three held throughout the ceremony, with late musicians and fellow ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Archie Roach and The Seekers’ Judith Durham also commemorated following their deaths earlier this year.
Roach’s tribute was performed by three-time nominees Jessica Mauboy, Thelma Plum, and Budjerah, the last of whom won the award for Best Soul/R&B Release for his 2022 album ‘Conversations’. The trio honoured Roach with a rendition of ‘One Song’, which was released five months before his passing in July of this year and won the ARIA for Best Independent Release.
The tributes took place instead of the ceremony’s usual ARIA Hall Of Fame induction segment, which was absent from the programme for the second year running. ARIA said this was so it could “pay due respect and properly celebrate” the aforementioned Hall Of Famers, and that the inductee proceedings “will return in 2023”.