It’s been six months since actor and singer Olivia Newton-John died at the age of 73, but the late hit-maker still has one more treat for her faithful fans.
Newton-John's husband, John Easterling, sat down for an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and spoke about the icon's final recording, a just-released duet in which she belted out Dolly Parton’s classic hit “Jolene” with the queen of country music herself.
“It’s a gorgeous duet,” Easterling said. “Dolly’s a wonderful person, was a good friend of Olivia.”
“So sad to have lost my special friend Olivia Newton-John,” she wrote. “So happy that our lives crossed paths. I know her voice is singing beautifully with the angels.”
As for when Newton-John raised her voice alongside Parton, Easterling noted that they created something that he believes puts a spotlight on his late partner's remarkable vocal talent.
“I think it expresses part of who she was," he explained. "She, as I do, (felt) like everyone has a very unique and special gift. I mean, for her it was her voice. She knew that. That was a gift. She understood it was a gift, and she gave that very generously."
The "Jolene" duet was recorded just months before Newton-John died following multiple, lengthy battles with breast cancer.
“She continued to (give generously), right up to the last thing she did with Dolly Parton," Easterling said of his wife of 14 years. "That was just part of her gift, part of her giving, part of her sharing, part of her loving.”
And her love is something he still feels today. Easterling, who was joined by Newton-John's daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, for the interview, told Hoda how he’s been able to go on embracing that love while mourning such a loss.
“A guy I was flying with said, ‘You know, John, when you’re lucky enough to have found your true soul mate, and you share a heart, when one passes, the other has the obligation to live life for both,’” he recalled. “And that was very empowering and very powerful for me, and, you know, and gave a way forward.”