Today star chokes up as he plays gut-wrenching voicemail

Today entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins choked up live on-air as he replayed a voicemail he received from Olivia Newton-John's daughter following her death.

The veteran reporter fought back tears on Wednesday morning as he revealed Chloe Lattanzi had reached out following his on-air breakdown after discovering the news the Aussie icon had passed away aged 73.

"Chloe Lattanzi, Olivia's daughter, sent me a beautiful message earlier today, which I played and cried again," he said on the breakfast program as he tried to keep his composure.

Richard Wilkins cries on the Today show.
Richard Wilkins broke down during an on-air tribute to Olivia Newton-John. Source: Today

"And I said to her, 'I would never do it without your permission. Would you like me to share your beautiful message with her many friends and fans on-air?' he said.

"And she said, 'Yes, please. Tell them how much their love is helping me cope. I want to be a link for them. Give light, give thanks, gratitude. I'm holding you in my heart."

The heart-wrenching voicemail was then played to viewers, where Chloe could be heard comforting Richard after seeing how heartbroken he was on Tuesday's program after learning the news.


"Hi Richard, this is Chloe, I just saw your beautiful tribute to my mummy," the voicemail said.

"I just wanted to hold you. I saw how much you loved her and ... I just want you to know that she's free now and she's out of pain and all the family's here together."

Chloe held back tears as she added: "She's making the sun shine and the dogs are running around and smiling and the horses are galloping."

"I just want you to know that she's free from pain now and she fought soo hard and I was with her every step of the way. And, um, I just felt your love and I want you to know mummy and I both cared ... care about you so much.

"I love you, my friend. Thank you for doing that."

Richard Wilkins shared a tribute to Olivia Newton-John on Instagram. Source: Instagram
Richard Wilkins shared a tribute to Olivia Newton-John on Instagram. Source: Instagram

Richard played the message on-air a day after he broke down in tears after a clip from his interview with Olivia was played as part of a tribute to her.

"I didn't want to do this," Richard said as he choked back tears.

Host Karl Stefanovic comforted Richard as he said he was "still numb".

Olivia passed away peacefully at her home in California on Monday (local time) after a 30-year battle with cancer.

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