Singer Helen Reddy, whose 1972 song “I Am Woman” became a global feminist anthem, died in Los Angeles aged 78 on Tuesday. Born in Australia, Reddy moved to the US in her early 20s after winning a talent contest. her song “I Am Woman” went to No 1 in 1972 and launched her global stardom and she followed it up with a string of hits, such as “Delta Dawn”, “Angie Baby” and “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady”. The success of “I Am Woman” made Reddy the first Australian singer to top the U.S. charts. Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four when Reddy joined her parents on the Australian vaudeville circuit, singing and dancing. 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.
On 23 July 1974, Reddy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the music industry. Reddy’s film career included a starring role in Walt Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, introducing the Oscar-nominated song “Candle on the Water” and the role of a nun in Airport 1975, singing her own composition “Best Friend”. In the mid-1980s, Reddy embarked on a new career in the theatre. She mostly worked in musicals, including Anything Goes, Call Me Madam, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Blood Brothers.