The LIV ON singer and iconic Grease star opens up about finding love and peace after her painful past
Olivia Newton-John and husband John Easterling
| Credit: Robert Lynden

Olivia Newton-John has that Sandy feeling.

“He’s incredibly smart and compassionate. He says yes to everything, he says yes to life!” the iconic singer and Grease star, 68, gushes about businessman husband of eight years John Easterling, 64, in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

The pair, who fell in love during a trip to the yyazon and married in a private ceremony back in 2008, are closer than ever these days, thanks to his helping her through some extremely tough times over the past few years.

“I dated a little bit, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with him and then bam!” she says of falling for Easterling a few years after her ex-partner Patrick McDermott mysteriously went missing during a boating trip in 2005. Years later some reports alleged McDermott had faked his death and was found to be living in Mexico. Though she says the entire ordeal has been “traumatic,” Easterling helped her move on.

“One of the hardest things is not knowing,” says Newton-John of what actually happened to McDermott. “I’m very lucky I have a wonderful, beautiful husband who is just so loving and fantastic. I always tell my friends you’re never too old to find love. I found the love of my life at 59 going on 60! I’m grateful.”

These days Newton-John is paying it forward, with new music she’s created to help cancer patients and people going through life’s painful struggles. “For me, I’ve always dealt with loss with music,” says Newton-John, who herself battled breast cancer in 1992, lost her beloved sister Rona to brain cancer in 2013 and has helped her daughter Chloe Lattanzi through personal struggles.

For more on Olivia Newton-John finding peace after her painful past, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Credit: Larsen & Talbert

For her new album LIV ON, she’s teamed up with friends and fellow musicians Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman. “It’s opening a lot of doors for people to communicate, which is really important for healing,” says the singer.

When it comes to her own healing, Newton-John’s in good hands. “His passion is botanicals and healing people with nature,” she says of her husband, whose nickname is ‘Amazon John.’ The star adds with a smile, “He’s just really great.”