The Grease star channelled the pain she felt after losing her sister Rona to brain cancer into a new song, and while she was recording it she realised she could create an album of material aimed at helping others heal.

"I lost my sister Rona to a rare form of brain cancer three years ago," the singer tells Closer magazine. "I was in a lot of grief, so I wrote a song to express my feelings.

"When I've gone through great emotional upheaval, I've always used music to heal myself."

Olivia, 68, opted not to stop there - and she recorded a string of uplifting, spiritual new tracks for an upcoming album, titled LIV ON, stating, "I hope it helps other people, too."

"After my friend Amy Sky helped me finish a song about my sister, we talked about the fact that there isn’t a lot of music about grief," the Xanadu star tells the publication.

"I came up with the concept for an album about loss, hope and moving forward. It's important for people to know that it’s all right to cry. We all go through loss. It's part of life’s journey."

Olivia also suffered loss of a different kind back in 2005 when her then-boyfriend Patrick MCDermott went missing during a fishing trip off the coast of San Pedro, California.

Two detectives, who have attempted to track him down, believe he faked his own death to avoid a series of debts, but his former girlfriend feels sure he's lost at sea.

The Coast Guard declared MCDermott had "most likely drowned", and the Grease star chooses to agree with that.

"It was very hard, he was lost at sea and nobody really knows what happened," the 68-year-old told Australian news show 60 Minutes. "It's human to wonder but, you know, those are the things in life you have to accept and let go."