Helen Reddy facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Helen Reddy in concert, 1974
25 October 1941|
|Died||29 September 2020
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Pop, Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening|
|Years active||1970–2002, 2011|
|Labels||Fontana Records Capitol
Helen Reddy Inc.
|Associated acts||Olivia Newton-John|
Helen Maxine Reddy (25 October 1941 – 29 September 2020) was an Australian singer, actress, and activist who held dual Australian and American citizenship.
Her song "I Am Woman" played a significant role in popular culture, becoming an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a "feminist poster girl" or a "feminist icon". In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 woman). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the "Queen of '70s Pop".
Born in Melbourne, Victoria, to a show-business family, Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four.
She sang on radio and television, and won a talent contest on a television program, Bandstand, in 1966; her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which turned out to be unsuccessful.
She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago and, subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles "One Way Ticket" and "I Believe in Music" in 1968 and 1970, respectively. The B-side of the latter single, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" reached No. 8 in Canadian pop chart RPM and she was signed to Capitol Records a year later.
During the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States where she placed 15 singles on the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the Top 10 and three reached No. 1, including her signature hit "I Am Woman".
She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the Top 10 and eight reached No. 1, six consecutively.
In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.
On television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.
Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single "I Can't Say Goodbye to You" became her last to chart in the US, she acted in musicals and recorded albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002.
She returned to university in Australia and earned her degree, and practised as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing "Breezin' Along with the Breeze" with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond's birthday, Reddy decided to return to live performing.
Political service, citizenship
Reddy became a naturalised American citizen in 1974. She resumed her Australian citizenship when the subsequent opportunity to maintain dual American–Australian citizenship became available.
Reddy was active in community affairs:
- In the 1970s she helped raise millions of dollars for Democratic Party political candidates.
- In July 1977, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Reddy to the nine-member commission overseeing the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Her nomination was unanimously approved. She served on the commission until 1980.
At age 20, Helen married Kenneth Claude Weate. The couple separated not long after the birth of their daughter, Traci.
In 1968, she married Jeff Wald, a native of The Bronx. She converted to Judaism before marrying Wald, with whom she had a son, Jordan, born in 1972.
Reddy and Wald had divorced in January 1983.
In June 1983, she married Milton Ruth, a drummer in her band; the couple divorced in 1995.
A biographical film about Reddy titled I Am Woman was released in 2019, in which Reddy is played by Tilda Cobham-Hervey.
|Date of Release
|07/ 1971||I Don't Know How to Love Him||100||Gold||Capitol|
|11/ 1971||Helen Reddy||167||--|
|11/ 1972||I am Woman||14||Platinum|
|08/ 1973||Long Hard Climb||8||Gold|
|04/ 1974||Love Song for Jeffrey||11||Gold|
|10/ 1974||Free and Easy1||8||Gold|
|07/ 1975||No Way to Treat a Lady2||11||Gold|
|12/ 1976||Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits3||5||2xPlatinum|
|08/ 1976||Music, Music||16||Gold|
|04/ 1977||Ear Candy||75||--|
|07/ 1978||We'll Sing in the Sunshine||--||--|
|01/ 1979||Live in London||--||--|
|05/ 1980||Take What You Find||--||--|
|10/ 1981||Play Me Out||--||--||MCA|
|?/ 1990||Feel So Young||--||--||Helen Reddy Inc.|
|09/ 1998||Center Stage||--||--||Varèse|
|07/ 2000||The Best Christmas Ever||--||--||EMI/Capitol|
|?/ 2006||The Woman I Am: the Definitive Collection||--||--|
- 1#16 (New Zealand), #17 (UK)
- 2#13 (New Zealand)
- 3#1 (New Zealand), The Best of Helen Reddy #5 (UK)u
Images for kids
Reddy (right) with Carol Burnett, 1973
Helen Reddy Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.