Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Born to vaudeville performers in 1941 in Melbourne, Australia, pop singer Helen Reddy began her career as an entertainer at the age of four, singing and dancing on tour with her family. After achieving early success as a singer in Australia, she moved to the U.S. in 1966, struggling for a time while working odd jobs, auditioning whenever possible, and singing in nightclubs and the occasional television show. In 1971, she signed to Capitol Records. A year later, her song “I Am Woman,” which was included on the soundtrack of Mike Frankovich’s film about women’s liberation, Stand Up and Be Counted, reached No. 1 on the pop charts. The single went platinum and won a Grammy Award, becoming a feminist anthem and making Reddy a spokesperson for the women’s liberation movement. After several years of sustained success as a recording artist, she went on to act, produce television programs, and write about women’s issues and environmental concerns.