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Grammy-winning I Am Woman singer Helen Reddy dies at 78 in Los Angeles

The Australian-born singer also scored several other hits, including I Don't Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar.

Grammy-winning I Am Woman singer Helen Reddy dies at 78 in Los Angeles

In this Jan 31, 2015, file photo, Australian-born singer Helen Reddy attends the 2015 G'DAY USA GALA at the Hollywood Palladium, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her feminist anthem I Am Woman and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78.

Reddy's children Traci and Jordan announced that the actress-singer died on Tuesday (Sep 29) in Los Angeles. "She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman," they said in a statement. "Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever."

In this Oct 27, 1977, file photo, Helen Reddy, composer-singer of what has become a marching song for Women's lib, tells of mail she gets from housewives, who say the best-selling record – I Am Woman – bucks them up. (Photo: AP/ilr, File)

The Australian-born singer enjoyed a prolific career, appearing in Airport 1975 as a singing nun and scoring several hits, including I Don't Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar, Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady, Delta Dawn, Angie Baby and You And Me Against The World.

Reddy's version of I Don't Know How To Love Him in 1971 launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No 1.

Two years later she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for I Am Woman, quickly thanking her then-husband and others in her acceptance speech. 

"I only have 10 seconds so I would like to thank everyone from Sony Capitol Records, I would like to think Jeff Wald because he makes my success possible and I would like to thank God because she makes everything possible," Reddy said, hoisting her Grammy in the air and leaving the stage to loud applause.

I Am Woman would become her biggest hit, used in films and television series. 

In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Reddy cited the gigantic success of I Am Woman as one of the reasons she stepped out of public life.

"That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book," she told the AP. "And I thought, `Well, I'm part of history now. And how do I top that? I can't top that.' So, it was an easy withdrawal."

Reddy's death comes less than three weeks after the release of a biopic about her life called I Am Woman.

A performer since childhood, Reddy was part of a show-business family in Melbourne. She won a contest that brought her to the United States and launched her recording career, although she first had to overcome ideas about her sound.

"In my earlier days in Australia, I was considered to be more of a jazz singer. When I won the contest that brought me to this country, one person said, 'The judges didn't feel you could have a recording career because you don't have a commercial sound.'"

Reddy retired from performing in the 1990s and returned to Australia, getting her degree in clinical hypnotherapy.

(Source: CNA/AP)

Source: CNA/ap