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Singer/actress Olivia Newton-John returned to the road on Thursday to continue her tour as she battles breast cancer.
In May, the Grease star announced she was postponing a series of dates on her An Evening With Olivia Newton-John tour in America’s Midwest due to severe back pain she attributed at the time to sciatica.
She was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer, 25 years after she first fought and overcame the disease, and ended up postponing all of her tour stops.
However, earlier this month, Olivia revealed she was “feeling great” as she pressed on with her radiation treatment and alternative therapies to fight the cancer, and she was able to resume her live shows in Evansville, Indiana on Thursday.
Expressing her gratitude to her fans for their unwavering support, she told the crowd, “I’d like to thank any of you in the audience who have sent me cards and well wishes and prayers.”
While Olivia has returned to work, she will not be participating in any meet-and-greets to allow the 68-year-old to “focus on performing the best show for everyone”, according to a statement online.
One concert-goer was left disappointed by the news, after bringing a bouquet of flowers as a gift to celebrate her performance comeback, which he had been hoping to present to Olivia himself.
Kentucky resident Byron Witham instead had to settle for handing them over to a theatre attendant, who managed to get the flowers to the star’s assistant – and the sweet gesture landed him a special shout-out from Olivia onstage, reports People.com.
Witham took to Facebook before the gig began to admit he was a little annoyed by the change of plans, but he was left stunned during the concert itself when he heard Olivia utter his name.
In video footage he later posted online, Olivia is featured saying, “And I’d like to thank a very kind gentleman in the audience, Byron Witham, for his beautiful flowers – they’re so lovely.”
“I nearly died!” he explained in the accompanying caption. “I was filming this without knowing I would even be mentioned. It happens at the end of this video, and you hear me begin to say, ‘Oh My God’….but I dropped my phone! LOL (laugh out loud)! I cried for the rest of the concert.”
Olivia’s busy tour schedule will keep her on the road until December.
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