Helen Reddy, the Australian singer behind the feminist anthem I Am Woman, has died aged 78.
Reddy died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, her family said in a Facebook statement.
Her children Traci Donat and Jordan Sommers have described her as “a wonderful mother, a wonderful grandmother and a really great wife”.
“Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in knowing that his voice will live on forever. “
Reddy had a string of pop and rock hits in the 1970s, but he is best known for the 1972 anthem I Am Woman – a catchy song that rose to prominence in the women’s liberation movement.
A dormant success, it sold millions of copies worldwide, making Reddy the world’s best-selling female artist for two years.
Collecting her 1973 Grammy Award for Best Female Singer, Reddy thanked “God because she makes everything possible.”
Born in Melbourne in 1941, Reddy grew up in a showbiz family with actor parents and performed regularly as a child.
After winning a talent competition in Australia, her award-winning ticket took her to New York City in the 1960s, where she auditioned for a recording contract.
This opportunity failed but Reddy decided to stay in the United States, later signing with Capitol Records.
His first hit, I don’t know how to love it, was followed by a succession of others including Crazy Love, Delta Dawn and Angie Baby.
But it was her second hit, I Am Woman, that 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 strong, I’m invincible, I’m a woman” – after struggling to find other songs that reflect her pride in being a woman.
Between two international tours, she also hosted a season of the Helen Reddy Show on NBC TV in prime time in 1973.
A year later, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Diagnosed with dementia in 2015, she spent the last years of her life in a celebrity retirement home in Los Angeles.
A biographical film, titled I Am Woman, was released in Australia earlier this year.