LOS ANGELES (AP) — Helen Reddy failed to take her own advice for the last few years — she did not “Keep on Singing,” to quote the title of her 1974 hit.
Ten years ago, the “I Am Woman” singer-songwriter gave up on show business and started a whole new life in her homeland of Australia. She got her degree in clinical hypnotherapy, and for the last decade has lived modestly in Sydney.
“I have very wide-ranging interests,” she said in a recent interview. “So, singing ‘Leave Me Alone’ 43 times per song lost its charm a long time ago.”
But she couldn’t stay silent forever. Reddy is making her return to the musical stage this week, at a club in San Diego and for a high school benefit in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles. She decided to return to performing after being buoyed by the warm reception she recently got when she sang at her sister’s birthday party.
But don’t expect to hear all of the old chart makers during her performances.
“One of the reasons that I’m coming back to singing is because I’m not doing the greatest hits,” Reddy explained. “I’m doing the songs that I always loved. So many are album cuts that never got any airplay, and they’re gorgeous songs.”
Reddy, 70, has been singing since she was a young girl, as part of a well-known show-business family in Melbourne. But she didn’t score hugely until her 1971 hit cover of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” the big ballad from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Over the next decade, she produced 15 top 40 hits, with three reaching No. 1.
Her biggest song was the feminist anthem “I Am Woman” — which ultimately inspired her to retire.
“That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism — and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book,” she recalled. “And I thought, ‘Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.’ So, it was an easy withdrawal.”
Still, that is one of the classics from her catalog that she will sing on stage — or, to be more accurate, recite.
“Sometimes the words get lost in a song,” Reddy said. “And I think the words are very important. So I am reciting ‘I Am Woman.’ And I hadn’t realized, but it’s wonderful acting piece, as well. So, that will probably be the end of the set for me.”
She added: “A lot of things that (women have) gained during the ’70s have been lost. And I think it is time to put woman forward in more places.”
As for Reddy, who recently had cataract surgery, she says she’s already in a “very good place.”
“I’m still very active, physically. I walk four miles a day. And I love the fact that I don’t care so much about things — things that were so terribly important when you’re younger, they don’t matter when you get older,” she said. “And it’s such a sense of freedom.”
More Related Stories
- J.J. Abrams reveals deleted shower scene with Benedict Cumberbatch
- What's behind New York's anti-gay hate crimes?
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- Cannes: Ryan Gosling's new movie draws the boo-birds
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
- New track from the Lonely Island features Solange Knowles, semicolons
- Amazon introduces fan fiction publishing platform
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
- The camp-free "Behind the Candelabra"
- Justin Bieber will destroy you if you live-tweet his parties
- Marc Maron on Twitter feud with Michael Ian Black: "We have an understanding"
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis to jury: "You should be euthanized"
- Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video
- Actually, Beyoncé is a feminist
- Marc Maron and Michael Ian Black's epic Twitter battle
- Cannes: Directing 101 with James Franco
- Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of '80s metal
- Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter's suicide
- Steven Spielberg to produce "Halo" television series
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11