Helen Reddy dead – ‘I Am Woman’ singer passes away at 78 after dementia battle as family pay tribute

FEMINIST singer Helen Reddy famous for the song “I Am Woman” has died aged 78.

The Australian artist passed away in Los Angeles on Tuesday, her family said.

They wrote on her Facebook account: "Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Reddy moved to the US in her early 20s after winning a talent contest and found success with the song "I Dont Know How To Love Him" in 1971.

But she became a feminist icon after penning I am Woman in 1972.

Reddy said she wrote the lyrics in the hit including "I am woman, hear me roar" and "I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman" because they reflected her pride in being a woman, the BBC reports.

Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.

She followed up her successwith a string of hits, such as "Delta Dawn", "Angie Baby" and "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady".

The singer hosted her own TV variety show "The Helen Reddy Show" and starred in Hollywood films including Disney’s Pete’s Dragon where she sang the Oscar-nominated song "Candle on the Water".

She was the world's top-selling female vocalist in 1973 and 1974.

Her career tapered in the 1980s before she officially retired 2002.

She was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.

Unjoo Moon who directed a film about Reddy called “I am Woman” paid tribute to the singer.

She said: “She paved the way for so many and the lyrics that she wrote for I Am Woman changed my life forever like they have done for so many other people and will continue to do for generations to come."

In her tribute, actress Jamie Lee Curtis said introducing Reddy at the 2017 Women's March in Los Angeles was the "honour of my life".

A message posted by the official Twitter account of 1970s R&B group The Pointer Sisters said: "We are so sad to hear that #HelenReddy has passed away. Our first television appearance was on her show. #RIPHelenReddy Condolences to her family, friends and fans."

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