Having topped practically every Billboard chart -- from Pop to Country, Hot 100 to New Age -- Olivia Newton-John has scored another hit with “You Have to Believe,” returning to the Dance Club chart for the first time in 23 years. This week, she climbs to No. 10, her highest Dance chart position to date.
In a reworking of her hit, “Magic,” from the film XANADU, Olivia finds new alchemy with dance music wizard Dave Audé. The track marks her first collaboration with daughter Chloe Lattanzi, who is making her Billboard chart debut.
The original “Magic” spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1980. The new version also looks to be headed straight to the top.
As the song continues to heat up the charts, the mother-daughter duo sat down with ETonline to talk about how the collaboration came together.
ETonline: How did this project come about?
Olivia Newton-John: Actually, it was Chloe’s idea to redo “Magic.” So, we met with producer Dave Audé. Chloe wrote a new verse with Dave and Australian songwriter Vassy, and John Farrar, another Aussie who produced and wrote most of my hits, let us use the original chorus of “Magic.” We love the Aussies! And here we are -- top 10!
Chloe Lattanzi: A friend of mine knew Dave Audé, and we talked, and he was interested in working with my mom, too. So I was like, “Hey, mom, do you maybe want to do something with me?” (laughs)
Olivia: I think she has amazing talent -- a beautiful voice, a great songwriter -- I’ve been chomping at the bit so everyone could see her. It’s a great opportunity for me to say “Yay! Chloe, go!” And to do one of my songs is a real special treat.
Chloe: It's really fun for me to sort of combine my mom's energy and my energy together. It makes something completely new because we're so different creatively. It's funny too, because my mom says she's back on the charts because of me. That was a huge compliment.
What was it like to take your mom’s hit song and create a new piece?
Chloe: I have always thought my mom’s songs have great melodies. I think that I have an edge to me, and I’ve always wanted to turn the songs into something slightly more mysterious. When I write a song, I always envision a story. They’re kind of personal, so I don’t divulge that because they are sometimes really weird (both laugh). So I write out a storyline and characters, and I get my lyrics from that. Maybe that’s weird?
Olivia: (laughing) That’s not weird. There’s no weird way to write a song.
Speaking of storyline, you also shot a music video for the song?
Olivia: We shot the music video in Las Vegas (Olivia is currently in residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas) and my nephew, Mikey Easterling, directed it so, it’s really a family affair! We had some fun co-stars, like the Chippendales and some great celebrity impersonators -- Britney Spears, Steven Tyler, Tina Turner and the Jubilee showgirls. It’s sort of pays homage to all things Vegas.
And a bonus -- the music video comes out and Chloe, you immediately get a movie offer?
Chloe: One of the casting directors of Syfy’s upcoming Dead 7 knew who I was, saw the video and he gave my picture, along with five other girls, to the main casting guy. The guy who got to decide which girl played my part actually had absolutely no idea who my mother was or who I was. I got the part on my own, which was a really nice feeling and great boost of confidence. They gave me a lot of room creatively. I really like working like that.
What’s next for the two of you?
Olivia: I’m really loving doing my show in Vegas and we’ve extended that into the new year. I also have a new album coming out next year with my friends, Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman, designed to uplift hearts burdened by grief. It’s very special. I continue to raise funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Australia! Oh! And I’m very excited that my Gaia Retreat and Spa just won the “World’s Best Day Spa” at the World Spa Awards!
Chloe: You're going to be seeing me on a few TV shows -- and definitely more music. I'm going back into the studio with Dave Audé to record our second single. Also, my old songs that I recorded years ago, I'm going to put them online for everyone to hear. I've kept them hidden for so long. Now it seems like the right time to put them out. And I’m working with producer Marley Waters, and we’re thinking of taking another of my mom’s songs and rewrite it. Rework it, but use the chorus and turn it into another dance thing. Kind of on a roll here -- copying her, using her fame for my benefit (laughing).
Olivia: (laughing) You go ahead! I don’t mind. Take over, please. I can stay home (still laughing). The most amazing thing is I met Chloe’s dad on the set of XANADU. If it hadn’t been for XANADU, she wouldn’t be here. So, SHE’s the “magic!”
Chloe: So, if it wasn’t for a kitschy 1980s movie, I wouldn’t exist!
Olivia and Chloe (at the same time): Explains a lot! (laughing)