Helen Reddy, the voice behind the empowering feminist anthem, “I Am Woman,” has died at the age of 78. The news was revealed in a Facebook post from her children Traci and Jordan. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles,” they said in the post. “She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”
Reddy had a fairly successful musical career, one that reached international acclaim in the 1970s. She saw 20 songs enter the Billboard singles chart, with ten landing in the top 10 and three coming in at No. 1. Reddy’s three chart-topping songs were 1972’s “I Am Woman,” a song that earned Reddy a Grammy award, 1973’s “Delta Dawn,” and 1974’s “Angie Baby.” Reddy spoke about “I Am Woman” in a 2013 interview with the Chicago Tribune where she said the song was a result of the women that surrounded her own life. The publication would also name her the “Queen of ’70s Pop” in 2013.
“There were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sort of things,” she said in the Chicago Tribune interview. “All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty.”