thanks to Shannon Gacht

Close your eyes and listen to a track from Olivia Newton-John’s recent album, Grace and Gratitude. You’ll swear that she still sings love songs as sweetly as when she was the fresh-faced girl-next-door.

But Newton-John is all of 58 today, although the alluring voice sounds the same. It’s incredible, and I told her so.

“Everybody tells me that. You should hear me sing Have You Never Been Mellow, she told TODAY via email. “I love singing it and I have been singing that song the same way since I first sang it in the ’70s.”

Set to give her first-ever Singapore concert on April 27, Newton-John has already performed in Hong Kong. “The audience usually know all the words to my songs. The feeling that my music has touched the lives of people halfway round the world for years is an honour.”

Shouldn’t she have toured Asia earlier? She did, but that 1992 tour was abruptly aborted when she was diagnosed with breast cancer - the same day that her father died of cancer.

Those were rough times. Her 11-year marriage to the younger American actor-dancer Matt Lattanzi, now 48, ended. In 2004, Newton-John’s mother died. The following year, her boyfriend of nine years, American cameraman Patrick McDermott, went missing after a fishing trip.

You are one tough survivor. How do you feel these days, I asked. Her reply? “I am doing really great, thanks to a wonderful family, friends and fans.”

Her concert will feature past hits as well as new songs such as Love Is Letting Go Of Fear and Learn to Love Yourself, which she wrote after breast cancer surgery. “Creating this new album has taught me a lot about who I am today,” she said.

Is another movie with Grease co-star John Travolta a possibility? And what about her marquee single, the raunchy Physical?

To the movie, Newton-John said: “No, that’s just talk. But yes, Physical will be on my list including Hopelessly Devoted To You and I Honestly Love You,” she promised.