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On this day in 1981, Olivia Newton-John hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Physical." The song would remain at the top of the charts for 10 weeks. "Physical" was very controversial at the time as people realized she wasn't singing about going to the gym, and it was definitely a departure from the "nice girl," soft rock image she became known for after "Grease." The video for the song, which was set in a gym, won the 1983 Grammy Award for Video of the Year.
November 21, 1981 - Olivia Newton John started a ten week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Physical', the singers fourth US No.1.
The song was an immediate success, shipping 2 million copies in the United States, being certified Platinum, and spending 10 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately becoming Newton-John's biggest American hit.
Physical was both preceded and followed in the No.1 chart position by recordings of the duo Hall & Oates. "Private Eyes" yielded its top spot to "Physical" in November 1981, and "Physical" yielded to "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" the following January. "Physical" held "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner at No.2, off the top of the Hot 100 for nine weeks, and "I Can't Go For That" held Foreigner's hit at No.2 for the tenth and final week.
Physical was originally intended for Rod Stewart. Songwriters Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick came up with this song, which was originally titled "Let's Get Physical." Instead of writing about the emotions of love, they decided to write this about the physical side. Other songs Kipner helped write include "Hard Habit To Break" by Chicago and "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera.
The single, slightly edgier than she had been known for in the past (such as her songs from Grease and her country-pop ballad "I Honestly Love You"), proved to be immensely popular both in America and in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that the song was censored and even banned by some radio stations due to its sexual content. In spite of Newton-John's status as the reigning queen of soft-rock music at the time, "Physical" peaked at only number twenty-nine on the AC chart. The song was a big dance hit, crossed over to the Billboard R&B chart peaking at No.28.
The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and won the Billboard Award for Top Pop Single. The Olivia Physical video (where "Physical" music video was included) won a Grammy Award for Video of the Year in 1983.
Physical went on to become the biggest-selling single of the entire decade in the US. Billboard ranked the song at No.6 on its All Time Top 100.
1981, #OliviaNewtonJohn started a ten week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Physical', the singers fourth US No.1 went on to sell over 2 million copies, a became a No.7 hit in the UK.