Legendary 'I Am Woman' Singer Helen Reddy Dead At 78

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Helen Reddy
Entertainment And News

This dreadful year has taken yet another incredible icon from us. Many of us are waking up to the sad news that Helen Reddy, singer of the phenomenal feminist song "I Am Woman," passed away at age 78. Reddy was a multitalented woman, not only topping charts with her music, but also hosting her own show and acting in several movies. The pop star had three number one hits on the charts with "I Am Woman," "Delta Dawn," and "Angie Baby." Reddy confirmed her role as a symbol for women's rights in her 1973 Grammy acceptance speech where she identified God as a "she."

How did Helen Reddy die?

The specifics of her death have not yet been announced, but Reddy was reported to have suffered from Addison's disease towards the end of her life and dementia since 2015. Addison's disease is an uncommon autoimmune disorder that arises when your adrenal glands can't produce enough of certain hormones the body needs to function.

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Was Helen Reddy married?

Reddy was married three times in her brilliant life. Her first marriage was to musician and family friend Kenneth Weate in 1961; they divorced 6 years later. Her second marriage was to film producer Jeff Wald in 1968. Wald is known for his work on 2 Days in the Valley, Paradise Alley, Switched at Birth, and Ruby McCollum. The couple separated in 1981 after Wald was checked into rehab for cocaine addiction. Reddy divorced him two years later, and after a few months, she ended up marrying the drummer of her band, Milton Ruth, in 1983. Her marriage with Ruth lasted over a decade at 12 years, but the two called it off in 1995. Reddy never remarried again and left the world a single mother of two grown children.

Who are Helen Reddy's kids?

Helen Reddy is survived by her two children. Her eldest is a daughter she had with her first husband Kenneth Weate. Traci Wald Donat was born on January 19, 1963, and has been married to Lucas Donat since 1984.

Reddy also had a son with her second husband, Jeff Wald. She gave birth to Jordan Sommers on December 12, 1972. He has been married since 2007 to Yasmina Sommers. The two children announced their mother's death on Reddy's official fan page on Facebook

"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,' their statement read. "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."

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Helen Reddy has a memoir.

Reddy published a memoir dedicated to telling the world about her incredible life story. The book The Woman I Am was published in 2006 and was made into a feature film in 2019. Unjoo Moon, who was the director and producer of Reddy's life film, posted on Instagram shortly after the announcement was made, writing, “When I first met Helen Reddy she told me that I would be in her life for many years. What followed was an amazing seven-year friendship during which she entrusted me with telling her story in a film that celebrates her life, her talents, and her amazing legacy. I will forever be grateful to Helen for teaching me so much about being an artist, a woman, and a mother."

We are all heartbroken to see the beautiful soul that was Helen Reddy leave, but perhaps she is causing some ruckus up in the sky with the female God she spoke into existence. Rest In Peace, Helen Reddy.

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Deauna Nunes is a writer who covers pop-culture, self, and love topics.