Kylie Minogue

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For the two albums of this name, see Kylie Minogue (album) and Impossible Princess.
Kylie Minogue
OBE
Kylie Minogue Cannes.jpg
Born Kylie Ann Minogue
(1968-05-28) 28 May 1968 (age 46)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Residence South Coogee, New South Wales, Australia[1]
Chelsea, London, England
Nationality Australian
Education Camberwell High School
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record and film producer
  • actress
  • author
  • entrepreneur
  • fashion designer
  • showgirl
  • humanitarian
Years active 1979–present
Home town Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
Television Neighbours, The Henderson Kids, Doctor Who, The Kylie Show
Relatives Dannii Minogue (sister)
Awards See List of awards and nominations received by Kylie Minogue
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1987–present
Labels
Website kylie.com

Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE (/ˈkl mɨˈnɡ/; born 28 May 1968), often known simply as Kylie, is an Australian singer-songwriter and actress, working and living in London. After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before beginning her career as a recording artist in 1987.

Minogue has achieved worldwide record sales of more than 70 million,[4] and has received notable music awards, including multiple ARIA and Brit Awards and a Grammy Award. She has mounted several successful and critically acclaimed concert world tours and received a Mo Award for "Australian Entertainer of the Year" for her live performances. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 "for services to music". In the same year she was appointed by the French Government as a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the junior grade of France's highest cultural honour, for her contribution to the enrichment of French culture. In 2011 her hit single "I Should Be So Lucky" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Sounds of Australia registry.[5][6] The same year, Minogue was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.) degree by Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom for her work in raising awareness for breast cancer. In November 2011, on the 25th anniversary of the ARIA Music Awards, Minogue was inducted by the Australian Recording Industry Association into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[7]

Her first single, "The Loco-Motion", spent seven weeks at number one on the Australian singles chart and became the highest-selling single of the decade in Australia. This led to a contract with the British songwriters and producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. Her debut album, Kylie (1988), and the single "I Should Be So Lucky", both performed well on international charts, particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom. Initially presented as a "girl next door", Minogue attempted to convey a more mature style in her music and public image. Her singles were well received, but after four albums her sales were declining, and she left Stock, Aitken & Waterman in 1992 to establish herself as an independent performer. Her next single, "Confide in Me", reached number one in Australia and was a hit in several European countries in 1994, and a duet with Nick Cave, "Where the Wild Roses Grow", brought Minogue a greater degree of artistic credibility. Drawing inspiration from a range of musical styles and artists, Minogue took creative control over the songwriting for her next album, Impossible Princess (1997).

Minogue returned to prominence in 2000 with the single "Spinning Around" and the dance-oriented album Light Years, and she performed during the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her music videos showed a more sexually provocative and flirtatious personality and several hit singles followed. "Can't Get You Out of My Head" reached number one in more than 40 countries, and the album Fever (2001) was a hit in many countries, including the US, a market in which Minogue had previously received little recognition. In 2005, in the middle of a concert tour, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to cancel the tour. After treatment, she resumed her career in 2006 with the Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour. In 2009, she embarked upon her For You, For Me tour, her first concert tour of the US and Canada.

In 2014 Minogue released her 12th album Kiss Me Once and appeared as a judge on the third series of The Voice UK and The Voice Australia.

Life and career

1968–86: Early life and career beginnings

Kylie Ann Minogue was born 28 May 1968 in Melbourne, Australia, the oldest child of Ronald Charles Minogue, an accountant of Irish ancestry[8] and a Welsh mother, Carol Ann (née Jones), a former dancer from Maesteg, Wales. Through her maternal line, Kylie has an English grandmother.[9] She is the oldest of three children, born between 1968 and 1971; middle brother Brendan is a news cameraman in Australia, while youngest sibling Dannii Minogue is also a pop singer[8] and television host.[10] The Minogue children were raised in Surrey Hills, Melbourne, and educated at Camberwell High School.[11]

The Minogue sisters began their careers as children on Australian television.[8] From the age of 11, Kylie appeared in small roles in soap operas such as The Sullivans and Skyways, and in 1985 was cast in one of the lead roles in The Henderson Kids.[12] Interested in following a career in music, she made a demo tape for the producers of the weekly music programme Young Talent Time,[13] which featured Dannii as a regular performer.[14] Kylie gave her first television singing performance on the show in 1985 but was not invited to join the cast. Dannii's success overshadowed Kylie's acting achievements,[8] until Kylie was cast in the soap opera Neighbours in 1986,[11] as Charlene Mitchell, a schoolgirl turned garage mechanic. Neighbours achieved popularity in the UK, and a story arc that created a romance between her character and the character played by Jason Donovan, culminated in a wedding episode in 1987 that attracted an audience of 20 million British viewers.[15]

Her popularity in Australia was demonstrated when she became the first person to win four Logie Awards in one event, and the youngest recipient of the "Gold Logie" as the country's "Most Popular Television Performer", with the result determined by public vote.[16]

1987–89: Kylie and Enjoy Yourself

During a Fitzroy Football Club benefit concert with other Neighbours cast members, Minogue performed "I Got You Babe" as a duet with the actor John Waters, and "The Loco-Motion" as an encore, and was subsequently signed to a recording contract with Mushroom Records in 1987.[17] Her first single, "The Loco-Motion", spent seven weeks at number one on the Australian singles charts and it became the country's highest-selling single in the 1980s.[18] She received the ARIA Award for the year's highest-selling single.[19] Its success resulted in Minogue travelling to England with Mushroom Records executive Gary Ashley to work with producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. They knew little of Minogue and had forgotten that she was arriving; as a result, they wrote "I Should Be So Lucky" while she waited outside the studio.[20] The song reached number one in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Israel and Hong Kong.[21] Minogue won her second consecutive ARIA Award for the year's highest-selling single, and received a "Special Achievement Award".[22]

Minogue's debut album, Kylie was released in July 1988. The album was a collection of dance-oriented pop tunes and it spent more than a year on the UK Albums Chart, including several weeks at number one.[23] The album went gold in the United States, and the single, "The Loco-Motion", reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart,[24] and number one on the Canadian Singles Chart. Follow-up singles from the album sold well, including "Got to Be Certain", her third consecutive number one single on the Australian music charts.[25] Later in the year, she left Neighbours to focus on her music career. Minogue also collaborated with Jason Donovan for the song "Especially for You". It peaked at number-one in the United Kingdom and sold almost one million copies. Minogue was sometimes referred to as "the Singing Budgie" by her detractors over the coming years,[26] however Chris True's comment about the album Kylie for AllMusic suggests that Minogue's appeal transcended the limitations of her music, by noting that "her cuteness makes these rather vapid tracks bearable".[27]

Minogue's second album Enjoy Yourself was released in October 1989. The album was a success in the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Asia and Australia. The album spawned number one singles "Hand on Your Heart" and "Tears on My Pillow".[23] However, the album failed to sell well throughout North America, and Minogue was dropped by her American record label Geffen Records. She then embarked on her first concert tour, the Enjoy Yourself Tour, in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia in February 1990. She was also one of the featured vocalists on the remake of "Do They Know It's Christmas?".[28]

Her debut film, The Delinquents was released in December 1989. The movie was poorly received by critics but it proved popular with audiences. In the UK it grossed more than £200,000,[29] and in Australia, it was the fourth-highest grossing local film of 1989 and the highest grossing local film of 1990.[30]

1990–92: Rhythm of Love and Let's Get to It

Minogue's third album, Rhythm of Love was released in November 1990. The album presented a more sophisticated and adult style of dance music and also marked the first signs of her rebellion against her production team and the "girl-next-door" image.[31] Determined to be accepted by a more mature audience, Minogue took control of her music videos, starting with "Better the Devil You Know", and presented herself as a sexually aware adult.[32] Her relationship with Michael Hutchence was also seen as part of her departure from her earlier persona.[33] The singles from Rhythm of Love sold well in Europe and Australia. She then later embarked on the Rhythm of Love Tour in February 1991.

Minogue's fourth album, Let's Get to It was released in October 1991 and it reached number 15 on the UK Albums Chart. It was her first album to fail to reach the top ten.[23] While the first single from the album, "Word Is Out" became her first single to miss the top ten of the UK Singles Chart,[23] though subsequent singles "If You Were with Me Now" and "Give Me Just a Little More Time" reached the top five respectively.[23] In support of the album, she embarked on the Let's Get to It Tour in October. She had fulfilled the requirements of her contract and elected not to renew it.[8] She later expressed her opinion that she was stifled by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, and said, "I was very much a puppet in the beginning. I was blinkered by my record company. I was unable to look left or right."[34]

Minogue's first Greatest Hits album was released in August 1992. It reached number one in the United Kingdom[23] and number three in Australia.[35] The singles from the album, "What Kind of Fool" and her cover version of Kool & the Gang's "Celebration" both reached the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart.[23]

1993–98: Kylie Minogue and Impossible Princess

Minogue's signing with Deconstruction Records was highly touted in the music media as the beginning of a new phase in her career. Her fifth album Kylie Minogue was released in September 1994 which sold well in Europe and Australia. It was produced by dance music producers the Brothers In Rhythm, namely Dave Seaman and Steve Anderson (musician) who had previously produced Finer_Feelings, her last single with PWL. Anderson remains Minogue's musical director to this day. The lead single "Confide in Me" spent four weeks at number one on Australian singles chart.[36] The next two singles from the album "Put Yourself in My Place" and "Where Is the Feeling?" reached the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart,[23] while the album peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart,[23] eventually selling 250,000 copies.[37]

During this period, Minogue made a guest appearance as herself, in an episode of the comedy The Vicar of Dibley. Director Steven E. de Souza was intrigued by Minogue's cover photo in Australia's Who Magazine as one of "The 30 Most Beautiful People in the World", and offered her a role opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in the film Street Fighter.[38] The film was a moderate success, earning US$70 million in the US,[38] but received poor reviews with The Washington Post's Richard Harrington calling Minogue "the worst actress in the English-speaking world". She then co-starred with Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin in the 1996 film Bio-Dome. She also appeared in the 1995 short film, Hayride to Hell and in the 1996 film Diana & Me.

The body of a woman in a white dress floats on her back in a pond. Her body is submerged, and only her face, with open eyes, is above the water. There are plants near her, and a black snake swims through the water, its head over the top of her exposed thigh.
A painting shows the body of a woman, floating on her back in a pond surrounded by plants and flowers. Her eyes and mouth are open, and her open-palmed hands are extended above the water.
The music video for "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (1995) (left) was inspired by John Everett Millais' Ophelia (1851/52) (right).

In 1995, Minogue collaborated with Australian artist Nick Cave for the song "Where the Wild Roses Grow". Cave had been interested in working with Minogue since hearing "Better the Devil You Know", saying it contained "one of pop music's most violent and distressing lyrics".[39] The music video for the song was inspired by John Everett Millais's painting Ophelia (1851–1852), and showed Minogue as the murdered woman, floating in a pond as a serpent swam over her body. The single received widespread attention in Europe, where it reached the top 10 in several countries, and number two in Australia.[40] The song won ARIA Awards for "Song of the Year" and "Best Pop Release".[41] Following concert appearances with Cave, she recited the lyrics to "I Should Be So Lucky" as poetry in London's Royal Albert Hall.[42]

By 1997, Minogue was in a relationship with the French photographer Stéphane Sednaoui, who encouraged her to develop her creativity.[43] Inspired by a mutual appreciation of Japanese culture, they created a visual combination of "geisha and manga superheroine" for the photographs taken for Minogue's sixth album Impossible Princess and the video for "German Bold Italic", Minogue's collaboration with Towa Tei.[44] She drew inspiration from the music of artists such as Shirley Manson and Garbage, Björk, Tricky and U2, and Japanese pop musicians such as Pizzicato Five and Towa Tei.[45] The album featured collaborations with musicians such as James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore of the Manic Street Preachers. Mostly a dance album, Minogue countered suggestions that she was trying to become an indie artist.[46] Acknowledging that she had attempted to escape the perceptions of her that had developed during her early career, she commented that she was ready to "forget the painful criticism" and "accept the past, embrace it, use it".[42] The music video for "Did It Again" paid homage to her earlier incarnations.[47] Retitled Kylie Minogue in the UK following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, it became the lowest-selling album of her career. At the end of the year a campaign by Virgin Radio stated, "We've done something to improve Kylie's records: we've banned them."[11] In Australia, the album was a success where it spent 35 weeks on the album chart.[48]

Minogue's Intimate and Live tour of 1998 was extended due to demand.[49] The Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, hosted a civic reception for Minogue in Melbourne,[50] and she maintained her high profile in Australia with live performances, including the 1998 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras,[49] the opening ceremonies of Melbourne's Crown Casino,[51] and Sydney's Fox Studios in 1999, where she performed Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend",[52] and a Christmas concert in Dili, East Timor, in association with the United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces.[52] During this time she filmed a small role for the Australian-made Molly Ringwald 2000 film Cut.

1999–2004: Light Years, Fever and Body Language

Kylie wears gold hot pants, a sheer blouse and high heels. She lies on a bar with her back arched, and her knees bent, as she stretches one arm behind her, and smiles with her head turned towards the camera. Two men stand behind the bar.
William Baker has cited the 1940s "Vargas Girl" pinups of Alberto Vargas as an influence, as demonstrated in the music video for "Spinning Around" (2000).

After Minogue parted ways with Deconstruction Records, she performed a duet with the Pet Shop Boys' on their Nightlife album and spent several months in Barbados performing in Shakespeare's The Tempest.[53] She then appeared in the film Sample People and recorded a cover version of Russell Morris's "The Real Thing" for the soundtrack.[53] In April 1999, she signed with Parlophone Records.[54] Parlophone wanted to re-establish Minogue as the pop artist they felt she essentially was, but that had been lost.[55]

In September 2000, Minogue released her seventh studio album, Light Years. The album was a collection of dance songs, influenced by disco music. It generated strong reviews and was successful throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and New Zealand.[56] The lead single "Spinning Around" became her first number one in the United Kingdom in ten years, and its accompanying video featured Minogue in revealing gold hot pants, which came to be regarded as a "trademark".[57][58] The second single, "On a Night Like This" reached number one in Australia[59] and number two in the United Kingdom.[23] "Kids", a duet with Robbie Williams, also peaked at number two in the United Kingdom.[23]

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony, Minogue performed ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and her single "On a Night Like This".[60] She then embarked on the On a Night Like This Tour, which played to sell-out crowds in Australia and the United Kingdom. The tour incorporated Burlesque and theatre and cited the style of Broadway shows such as 42nd Street, films such as Anchors Aweigh, South Pacific, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals of the 1930s and the live performances of Bette Midler.[61] She was praised for her new material and her reinterpretations of some of her greatest successes. She won a "Mo Award" for Australian live entertainment as "Performer of the Year".[62] She also appeared in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge! as "The Green Fairy".[63]

Minogue performing on Money Can't Buy (2003).

In October 2001, she released her eighth studio album Fever. The album contained disco elements combined with 1980s electropop and synthpop.[64] It reached number one in Australia, United Kingdom, and throughout Europe, eventually achieving worldwide sales in excess of eight million.[65] The album's lead single "Can't Get You Out of My Head" became the biggest success of her career, reaching number one in more than forty countries[66] and sold over 5 million copies.[67] She won four ARIA Awards including a "Most Outstanding Achievement" award,[68] and two Brit Awards, for "Best international female solo artist" and "Best international album".[69] Following extensive airplay by American radio, Capitol Records released the song and the album Fever in the US in 2002.[70] The album debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart at number three,[71] and "Can't Get You out of My Head" reached number seven on the Hot 100.[24] The subsequent singles "In Your Eyes", "Love at First Sight" and "Come into My World" were successful throughout the world, and Minogue established a presence in the mainstream North American market, particularly in the club scene. She followed the success of the album by touring the United States with the Jingle Ball festival.[72][73] In April 2002, Minogue embarked on the KylieFever2002 tour which became her biggest production she had put on to date. Later that year, she worked in a voice role on the animated film The Magic Roundabout, which was released in 2005 in Europe.[74] In 2003, she received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Dance Recording" for "Love at First Sight",[75] and the following year won the same award for "Come into My World".[76]

In November 2003, Minogue released her ninth studio album Body Language following an invitation-only concert, titled Money Can't Buy, at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The album downplayed the disco style and was inspired by 1980s artists such as Scritti Politti, The Human League, Adam and the Ants and Prince, blending their styles with elements of hip hop.[77] The sales of the album were lower than anticipated after the success of Fever,[65][70] though the first single, "Slow", was a number-one hit in the United Kingdom and Australia.[78] The album released two more singles, "Red Blooded Woman" and "Chocolate". In the US, "Slow" reached number-one on the club chart[79] and it received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Dance Recording category.[75] While Body Language achieved first week sales of 43,000 and declined significantly in the second week.[80]

In November 2004, she released her second official greatest hits album entitled Ultimate Kylie. The album yielded two singles "I Believe in You" and "Giving You Up". "I Believe in You" was later nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of "Best Dance Recording".[81]

2005–09: Showgirl and X

In March 2005, Minogue commenced her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour. After performing in Europe, she travelled to Melbourne, where she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was forced to cancel the tour.[82] She resumed the tour in November 2006 with a performance in Sydney. Her dance routines had been reworked to accommodate her medical condition, and slower costume changes and longer breaks were introduced between sections of the show to conserve her strength.[83] The media reported that Minogue performed energetically, with the Sydney Morning Herald describing the show as an "extravaganza" and "nothing less than a triumph".[84]

Kylie stands alone on a stage, holding a microphone near her mouth. Four spotlights shine from behind her. Her blonde hair is pulled back from her face, and she wears gold shoes and a low cut, flowing blue gown.
Minogue performing in Bulgaria during the KylieX2008 tour (2008).

In November 2007, Minogue released her tenth studio album and much-discussed "comeback" album, X.[85] The electro-styled album included contributions from Guy Chambers, Cathy Dennis, Bloodshy & Avant and Calvin Harris.[85] The album received some criticism for the triviality of its subject matter in light of Minogue's experiences with breast cancer. X and the lead single, "2 Hearts" entered at number one on the Australian albums and singles charts respectively.[86][87] In the United Kingdom, X initially attracted lukewarm sales,[85] although its commercial performance eventually improved.[88] Follow-up singles from the album, "In My Arms" and "Wow" both peaked inside the top ten of the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the album was nominated at the 2009 Grammy Awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album.[89]

In addition for the promotion of her album, Minogue was featured in White Diamond, a documentary filmed during 2006 and 2007 as she resumed her Showgirl Homecoming Tour.[90] She appeared in The Kylie Show, which featured her performances as well as comedy sketches with Mathew Horne, Dannii Minogue, Jason Donovan and Simon Cowell.[91] She co-starred in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special episode, "Voyage of the Damned", as Astrid Peth. The episode was watched with 13.31 million viewers, which was the show's highest viewing figures since 1979.[92]

Minogue performing in Toronto during the For You, For Me tour (2009).

In May 2008, Minogue embarked on the European leg of the KylieX2008 tour, which was her most expensive tour to date with production costs of £10 million.[71][93] The tour was generally acclaimed and sold well.[88] She was then appointed a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the junior grade of France's highest cultural honour.[94] In July, she was officially invested by The Prince of Wales as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[95] She also won the "Best International Female Solo Artist" award at the 2008 BRIT Awards.[96] In September, she made her Middle East debut as the headline act at the opening of Atlantis, The Palm, an exclusive hotel resort in Dubai,[97] and from November, she continued with her KylieX2008 tour, taking the show to cities across South America, Asia and Australia.[98] The tour visited 21 countries, and was considered a success, with ticket sales estimated at $70,000,000.[99] The tour continued to run until August 2009.

In 2009, Minogue hosted the BRIT Awards with James Corden and Mathew Horne.[100] She then embarked on the For You, For Me tour which was her first North American concert tour, bringing her tour in the US and Canada.[99] She was also featured in the Hindi movie, Blue, performing an A. R. Rahman song.[101]

2010–12: Aphrodite and The Abbey Road Sessions

Minogue performing on her Aphrodite World Tour in Japan, April 2011.

In July 2010, Minogue released her eleventh studio album, Aphrodite.[102] The album featured Stuart Price as the executive producer who also contributed to song writing along with Minogue, Calvin Harris, Jake Shears, Nerina Pallot, Pascal Gabriel, Lucas Secon, Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley and Kish Mauve. The album received favourable reviews from critics and it debuted at number-one in the United Kingdom, exactly twenty two years after her first number one hit in the United Kingdom.[103] The album's lead single, "All the Lovers" was a success and it became her thirty-third top ten single in the United Kingdom. Though subsequent singles from the album, "Get Outta My Way", "Better Than Today" and "Put Your Hands Up" failed to reach the top ten of the UK Singles Chart. However, all the singles released from the album have topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[104]

Minogue also recorded a duet with synthpop duo Hurts on their song "Devotion", which was included on the group's album Happiness.[105] She was then featured as a featuring artist on Taio Cruz's single "Higher". To conclude her recordings in 2010, she released the extended play A Kylie Christmas, which included covers of Christmas songs such as "Let It Snow" and "Santa Baby".[106][107]

Minogue performing in Sydney Mardi Gras, March 2012.

In 2011, Minogue embarked on the Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour, travelling to Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and Africa. The tour became her biggest tour to date with over 100 personnel. It was greeted with positive reviews, praising the concept.[108]

In 2012, Minogue began a year-long celebration for her 25 years in the music industry, which was often known as "K25". The anniversary started with her embarking on the Anti Tour, which featured b-sides, demos and rarities from her music catalogue.[109] She then released the single "Timebomb" in May, the greatest hits compilation album, The Best of Kylie Minogue in June and the singles box-set, K25 Time Capsule in October.[110][111] Along with this, she performed at various events around the world, including Sydney Mardi Gras, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert, and BBC Proms in the Park London 2012.[112][113][114]

Minogue also released the compilation album, The Abbey Road Sessions in October 2012. The album contained reworked and orchestral versions of her previous songs. It was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios and was produced by Steve Anderson and Colin Elliot.[115] The album received favourable reviews from music critics and it debuted at number-two in the United Kingdom.[116][117] The album spawned two singles, "Flower" and "On a Night Like This".[118]

Minogue also starred in two films; a cameo appearance in the American independent film Jack & Diane and a lead role in the French film Holy Motors.[119] Jack & Diane opened at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on 20 April 2012, while Holy Motors opened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[120]

2013–present: The Voice and Kiss Me Once

In January 2013, Minogue and her manager Terry Blamey, whom she had worked with since the start of her singing career, parted ways.[121] The following month, she was signed to Roc Nation for a management deal. In September, she was featured on Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini's single "Limpido", which was a number-one hit in Italy and has received a nomination for "World's Best Song" at the 2013 World Music Awards.[122] In the same month, she was hired as a coach for the third series of BBC One's talent competition The Voice UK for one season, alongside record producer and Black Eyed Peas member, will.i.am, Kaiser Chiefs' lead singer Ricky Wilson and pop singer Sir Tom Jones. Minogue's first episode on the show as a judge aired in January 2014.[123][124] In November, she was hired as a coach for the third season of The Voice Australia.[125]

In March 2014, Minogue released her 12th studio album, Kiss Me Once.[126] The album featured contributions from Sia Furler, Mike Del Rio, Cutfather, Pharell Williams, MNEK and Ariel Rechtshaid.[127] It peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the United Kingdom.[128][129] The singles from the album, "Into the Blue" and "I Was Gonna Cancel", did not chart inside the top ten of the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 12 and number 59.[130] In August, Minogue performed at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In September, Minogue will embark on the Kiss Me Once Tour.[131] She is also set to appear in the upcoming 2015 disaster film, San Andreas alongside Dwayne Johnson.[132]

Artistry

Music and voice

A 21 second sample of "Can't Get You Out of My Head" containing the hook and part of the chorus of the song. Known for its "la la la" hook and sleek production-style, it is often heralded as Minogue's best single to date.[133][134][135]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Minogue has been known for her soft Soprano vocal range, which has been noted as "a pleasant soft, breathy quality, and the head notes have a warm and versatile timbre."[136] She has approximately a range of 3.5 octaves.[136] Dara Hickey reviewed Minogue's studio album Aphrodite and wrote that she is "singing in her highest vocal range ever."[137] According to Fiona MacDonald from Madison magazine, Kylie had "has never shied away from making some brave but questionable artistic decisions".[138]

In musical terms, Minogue has worked with many genres in pop and dance music. However, her signature or suitable music has been contemporary disco music. Her first studio album's with Stock, Aitken, and Waterman present a more bubblegum pop influence where many critics had compared her to American recording artist Madonna. According to Chris True from Allmusic, he reviewed her debut Kylie and found her music "standard late-'80s Stock-Aitken-Waterman bubblegum", however he stated that she presented the most personality of any 1980s recording artist.[139] When her third album Rhythm of Love was served in the early 1990s, "The songwriting is stronger, the production dynamic, and Kylie seems more confident vocally."[140] At the time of her third studio album, "She began to trade in her cutesy, bubblegum pop image for a more mature one, and in turn, a more sexual one." Chris True stated that when she had her relationship with Michael Hutchence, "her shedding of the near-virginal façade that dominated her first two albums, began to have an effect, not only on how the press and her fans treated her, but in the evolution of her music."[141]

However, Minogue's work on her sixth studio album Impossible Princess, her songwriting and musical content started to change. She was constantly writing down words, exploring the form and meaning of sentences.[142] She had written lyrics before, but called them "safe, just neatly rhymed words and that's that".[143] The album, in musical genres, varied from her previous efforts as it incorporated "dance-pop" and "trip-hop" music, as critics reviewed.[144] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine had written that the album bears a resemblance to Madonna's Ray of Light. He continued that she took inspiration of " both the Brit-pop and electronica movements of the mid-'90s" and "Impossible Princess is the work of an artist willing to take risks".[144] Her next effort Light Years; "worked up by the renaissance of pure dance-pop that was the order of the day at the onset of the 21st century."[141] Her ninth album Body Language was quite different from her musical experiments in the past as it was a "successful" attempt at broadening her sound with electro and hip-hop for instance.[141] With its incorporating styles of dance music with funk, disco and R&B,[145] the album managed to be listed on Q's "Best Albums of 2003".[146]

Her tenth record X was a more welcome back to Minogue's pop roots. In a press interview for the promotion of the album, Minogue herself stated that the album was "mainly electropop" and was a "celebration for me [Minogue] to be back working."[147] However, critics, including Chris True said the album did not feature enough "consistency" and he later responded to the tracks as "cold, calculated dance-pop numbers."[148] Her eleventh, and recent record Aphrodite "rarely strays past sweet love songs or happy dance anthems" and "the main sound is the kind of glittery disco pop that really is her strong suit." Tim Sendra from Allmusic stated "The various producers keep their eyes on the dancefloor throughout, crafting shiny and sleek tracks that sound custom-built to blast out of huge speaker columns" and found Aphrodite "One of her best, in fact."[149]

Public image

A bronze statue of Kylie, on a star-shaped pedestal, portrays her in a dancing pose. Her legs are crossed and she bends at the waist, with both arms stretched above her head. The statue stands in a public square in front of a modern glass building, and several people are walking.
Bronze statue of Kylie Minogue at Waterfront City, Melbourne Docklands.

Minogue's efforts to be taken seriously as a recording artist were initially hindered by the perception that she had not "paid her dues" and was no more than a manufactured pop star exploiting the image she had created during her stint on Neighbours.[34] Minogue acknowledged this viewpoint, saying, "if you're part of a record company, I think to a degree it's fair to say that you're a manufactured product. You're a product and you're selling a product. It doesn't mean that you're not talented and that you don't make creative and business decisions about what you will and won't do and where you want to go."[77]

In 1993, Baz Luhrmann introduced Minogue to the photographer Bert Stern, notable for his work with Marilyn Monroe. Stern photographed her in Los Angeles and, comparing her to Monroe, commented that Minogue had a similar mix of vulnerability and eroticism.[150] During her career Minogue has chosen photographers who attempt to create a new "look" for her, and the resulting photographs have appeared in a variety of magazines, from the cutting edge The Face to the more traditionally sophisticated Vogue and Vanity Fair, making the Minogue face and name known to a broad group of people. Stylist William Baker has suggested that this is part of the reason she has entered in the mainstream pop culture of Europe more successfully than many other pop singers who concentrate solely on selling records.[151]

By 2000, when Minogue returned to prominence, she was considered to be have achieved a degree of musical credibility for having maintained her career longer than her critics had expected.[152] Her progression from the wholesome "girl next door" to a more sophisticated performer with a flirtatious and playful persona attracted new fans to her.[152] Her "Spinning Around" video led to some media outlets referring to her as "SexKylie", and sex became a stronger element in her subsequent videos.[152] William Baker described her status as a sex symbol as a "double edged sword" observing that "we always attempted to use her sex appeal as an enhancement of her music and to sell a record. But now it has become in danger of eclipsing what she actually is: a pop singer."[153] After 20 years as a performer, Minogue was described as a fashion "trend-setter" and a "style icon who constantly reinvents herself".[154] She has been acknowledged for mounting successful tours, and for worldwide record sales of more than 70 million.[4][155][156]

"Madonna subverts everything for her own gain. I went to see her London show and it was all so dour and humourless. She surpasses even Joan Crawford in terms of megalomania. Which in itself makes her a kind of dark, gay icon ... I love Kylie, she's the anti-Madonna. Self-knowledge is a truly beautiful thing and Kylie knows herself inside out. She is what she is and there is no attempt to make quasi-intellectual statements to substantiate it. She is the gay shorthand for joy."

Rufus Wainwright,
Observer Music Monthly, 2006.[157]

Minogue has been inspired by and compared to Madonna throughout her career.[11] Her producer, Pete Waterman, recalled Minogue during the early years of her success with the observation: "She was setting her sights on becoming the new Prince or Madonna ... What I found amazing was that she was outselling Madonna four to one, but still wanted to be her."[11] Minogue received negative comments that her Rhythm of Love tour in 1991 was too similar visually to Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour of the previous year for which the critics labelled her a Madonna wannabe.[158] Kathy McCabe for The Telegraph notes that Minogue and Madonna follow similar styles in music and fashion,[157] and concludes, "Where they truly diverge on the pop-culture scale is in shock value. Minogue's clips might draw a gasp from some but Madonna's ignite religious and political debate unlike any other artist on the planet ... Simply, Madonna is the dark force; Kylie is the light force."[157] Rolling Stone comments that, with the exception of the US, Minogue is regarded throughout the world as "an icon to rival Madonna", and says, "Like Madonna, Minogue was not a virtuosic singer but a canny trend spotter."[159] Minogue has said of Madonna, "Her huge influence on the world, in pop and fashion, meant that I wasn't immune to the trends she created. I admire Madonna greatly but in the beginning she made it difficult for artists like me, she had done everything there was to be done",[158] and "Madonna's the Queen of Pop, I'm the princess. I'm quite happy with that."[157] Kylie was declared by media as the sex symbol.[160][161][162][163]

Wax statue of Kylie Minogue at Madame Tussauds in London.

In January 2007, Madame Tussauds in London unveiled its fourth waxwork of Minogue; only Queen Elizabeth II has had more models created.[164] During the same week a bronze cast of her hands was added to Wembley Arena's "Square of Fame".[164] On 23 November 2007, a bronze statue of Minogue was unveiled at Melbourne Docklands for permanent display.[165]

In March 2010, Minogue was declared by researchers as the "most powerful celebrity in Britain". The study examined how marketers identify celebrity and brand partnerships. Mark Husak, head of Millward Brown's UK media practice, said: "Kylie is widely accepted as an adopted Brit. People know her, like her and she is surrounded by positive buzz".[166] She was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health.[167] In May 2011, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, Minogue had a net worth of $66 million (£40m).[168]

Minogue is regarded as a gay icon, which she encourages with comments such as "I am not a traditional gay icon. There's been no tragedy in my life, only tragic outfits" and "My gay audience has been with me from the beginning ... they kind of adopted me."[77] Minogue has explained that she first became aware of her gay audience in 1988, when several drag queens performed to her music at a Sydney pub, and she later saw a similar show in Melbourne. She said that she felt "very touched" to have such an "appreciative crowd", and this had encouraged her to perform at gay venues throughout the world, as well as headlining the 1994 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.[169] Minogue has one of the largest gay followings in the world.[170] Minogue's sister, Dannii, also has a large gay following and has been regarded as a gay icon. In 2012, MetroNOW ranked Minogue at twenty-six on their Top 50 Gay Icons.[171] In September 2007, Minogue was hailed the greatest gay icon of all time by The Sun.[172]

Personal life

Minogue dated Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan during her run on the show. Minogue then had a relationship with INXS lead singer, Michael Hutchence from 1989 to 1991. They remained close friends until Hutchence's death in 1997. Minogue began a relationship with the French actor, Olivier Martinez, after meeting him at the 2002 Grammy Awards ceremony.[173] They ended their relationship in February 2007, but remained on friendly terms. Minogue was reported to have been "saddened by false [media] accusations of [Martinez's] disloyalty".[173] She defended Martinez, and acknowledged the support he had given during her treatment for breast cancer. Minogue was in a relationship with model Andrés Velencoso from 2008 to 2013.[174][175]

Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 on 17 May 2005,[176] leading to the postponement of the remainder of her Showgirl – The Greatest Hits Tour and her withdrawal from the Glastonbury Festival.[177] Her hospitalisation and treatment in Melbourne resulted in a brief but intense period of media coverage, particularly in Australia, where Prime Minister John Howard issued a statement supporting Minogue.[178]

As media and fans began to congregate outside the Minogue residence in Melbourne, the Victorian Premier Steve Bracks warned the international media that any disruption of the Minogue family's rights under Australian privacy laws would not be tolerated.[179] His comments became part of a wider criticism of the media's overall reaction, with particular criticism directed towards paparazzi.[180][181] Minogue underwent surgery on 21 May 2005 at Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, and commenced chemotherapy treatment soon after.[178]

On 8 July 2005, she made her first public appearance after surgery, when she visited a children's cancer ward at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. She returned to France where she completed her chemotherapy treatment at the Institut Gustave-Roussy in Villejuif, near Paris.[182] In December 2005 Minogue released a digital-only single, "Over the Rainbow", a live recording from her Showgirl tour. Her children's book, The Showgirl Princess, written during her period of convalescence, was published in October 2006, and her perfume, "Darling", was launched in November.[183] This range was later augmented by eau de toilettes such as Pink Sparkle, Couture and Inverse.[184] On her return to Australia for her concert tour she discussed her illness, and said that her chemotherapy treatment had been like "experiencing a nuclear bomb".[183] While appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2008, Minogue said that her cancer had originally been misdiagnosed. She commented, "Because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn't necessarily mean they're right",[185] but later spoke of her respect for the medical profession.[186]

Minogue was acknowledged for the impact she had made by publicly discussing her cancer diagnosis and treatment; in May 2008, the French Cultural Minister Christine Albanel said, "Doctors now even go as far as saying there is a "Kylie effect" that encourages young women to have regular checks."[94]

Humanitarian work

Kylie wears a feather dress with a gold corset on, holding a microphone looking towards her audience. She is also wearing a hat standing in front of a dark blue and black background (2011)
Minogue performing on her Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour, where she continued to tour in Japan after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami had struck, April 2011.

Minogue has been involved in humanitarian support in the areas of health research, quality of life and many other areas. Musically, she has helped fundraise on many occasions. In 1989, she participated in recording "Do They Know It's Christmas?" under the name Band Aid II to help raise money in 1989. In early 2010, Minogue along with many other artists (under the name Helping Haiti) had recorded a cover version of 1993 version of "Everybody Hurts".[187] The single was a fundraiser to help the 2010 Haiti earthquake, with the proceeds going to both The Sun 's Helping Haiti fund and the Disasters Emergency Committee.[188] She had also spent a whole week in Thailand after the Thailand Tsunami hit in 2005.[189] During her 2011 Aphrodite World Tour, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck in Japan, which was on her itinerary. After difficult decisions, she declared she would continue to tour there, along with other international stars that decided similarly. She stated "I was here to do shows and I chose not to cancel, Why did I choose not to cancel? I thought long and hard about it and it wasn't an easy decision to make."[190] While she was there, she, along with Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, decided to be the star guest of an Australian Embassy fundraiser for the disaster.[190]

In 2008, Minogue pledged her support for a campaign to raise money for abused children, to be donated to the British charities ChildLine and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. According to the source, around $93 million was raised.[191] She spoke out in relation to the cause, saying: "Finding the courage to tell someone about being abused is one of the most difficult decisions a child will ever have to make."[191] In 2010 and 2012, she was involved in supporting the AIDS Support Gala, which has been held by the American Foundation for Aids Research (Amfar).[192] According to her official website, "Kylie has been a long-time supporter of the charity first appearing as a guest, helping Sharon Stone with the auction in Cannes and has since chaired three amfAR gala dinners in Los Angeles, New York and Paris." Minogue spoke about the cause saying "This is another great opportunity for me to support amfAR, an organisation whose work is so very important. I'm excited to be one of the co-chairs at this event alongside some amazing personalities."[193]

Ever since Minogue's breast cancer diagnosis in 2005, she has been a known avid sponsor and ambassador to the cause. In May 2010, she held a breast cancer campaign for the first time. She later spoke about the cause saying "It means so much to me to be part of this year's campaign for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. I wholeheartedly support their efforts to raise funds for the vital work undertaken by Breakthrough Breast Cancer."[194] For the cause, she "posed in a silk sheet emblazoned with the distinctive target logo of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer" for photographer Mario Testino.[194] After beating cancer, in 2010, she celebrated her fifth anniversary of being clear of the disease by hosting a charity concert to raise money for cancer charities and awareness of the condition.[195]

In April 2014, Minogue had launched her new campaign entitled One Note Against Cancer, which is a charity organisation to help cancer research.[196] Member's of the public are asked to donate money by buying a musical note from eBay site from Minogue's charity single "Crystallize".

Legacy

Kylie stands on stage with back-up dancers, holding a microphone near her mouth. Her blonde hair is pulled back from her face, and she wears thigh-high boots and a suit-esque uniform
Minogue performing in Paris, France during the Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour, March 2005

In February 2012, VH1 had ranked Minogue at number 47 on their VH1 Greatest Women in Music and number 49 on the "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era".[197][198] Channel 4 had listed her as one of the world's greatest pop stars.[199] The Official Chart Company revealed that she is the 12th best selling singer in the United Kingdom to date, and the third best selling female artist, selling over 10.1 million sales.[200] According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), all her studio albums have been certified, and with her singles as well, she has a total of 27 certified records.[201] In January 2011, She received a Guinness World Records citiation for having the most consecutive decades with top five albums, with all her albums doing so.[202] In September, she was ranked 27 on VH1's "100 Sexiest Artists".[203] In 2008, she was honoured Music Industry Trust's award for recognition of her 20-year career and was hailed as "an icon of pop and style".[204] She became the first female musician or act to receive a Music Industry Trust award.[204] Minogue made history in the United States for having two songs inside the top three on any US Billboard chart, with her songs "Better Than Today" and "Higher" charting at one and three on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.[205] She has sold more than 70 million records worldwide.

Dino Scatena from smh.co.au wrote that "A quarter of a century ago, a sequence of symbiotic events altered the fabric of Australian popular culture and set in motion the transformation of a 19-year-old soap actor from Melbourne into an international pop icon."[206] He then stated "Who could have imagined this tiny, unsophisticated star of Neighbours, with the bad '80s perm and questionable vocal ability, would go on to become Australia's single most successful entertainer and a world-renowned style idol?"[206] Throughout her career the singer has been known for reinventing herself in fashion and her musical content. Fabulous Magazine had labelled her a "Master of Reinvention."[207] In November 2006, Minogue posed for Vogue Australia, which Larissa Dubecki from The Age had labelled her the "Mother of Reinvetion" by saying "This unveiling is as cleverly managed as every aspect of her career, and her illness, to date. Like sharks, celebrities cannot remain static; they must keep moving or die. Kylie has beaten her early detractors by inhabiting almost a dozen identities [...]"[208] Fiona MacDonald from Madison said Kylie was "an icon, one of the handful of singers recognised around the world by her first name alone. And yet despite becoming an international music superstar, style icon and honorary Brit, those two syllables still seem as Australian as the smell of eucalyptus or a barbeque on a hot day."[138]

Some of Minogue's hits have garned many legacy and accolades through her career. Her worldwide hit single "Can't Get You Out of My Head" has been known with great legacy. In January 2012, NME had listed the song at number 4 on their Greatest Pop Songs in History.[209] The song was also named the most-played track of the decade.[210] The song has been listed on many critic's list for their best lists. The song eventually became the 3rd best-selling UK single and the most-played song in the UK in 2001.[211] Currently, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" is the 72nd song featured on UK's Official Top 100 Biggest Selling Singles of All Time.[212] Her single "Spinning Around" has also been iconic to Minogue's career, mostly surrounding her iconic hot pants, with critics calling the music video an "excellent tabloid fodder"[213] and a trademark to her career.[214] Her song "Come into My World" was later honoured with a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2004, becoming her first Grammy Award.[215] Slant Magazine placed the video for "Come into My World" at 1 on their "Best of the Aughts: Music Videos" list.[216]

Minogue has been recognised with many honorific nicknames in contemporary music. She has been compared to American recording artist Madonna in many media outlets, but because Madonna has been identified as Queen of Pop, outlets have labelled her as the Princess of Pop.[217] By saying that, Birmingham Post said in 2000; "[o]nce upon a time, long before anybody had even heard of Britney, Christina, Jessica or Mandy, Australian singer Kylie Minogue ruled the charts as princess of pop. Back in 1988 her first single, I Should Be So Lucky, spent five weeks at number one, making her the most successful female artist in the UK charts with 13 successive Top 10 entries."[218] She is sometimes referred to as the Goddess of Pop[219][220] or the "pop goddess".[221] From the music beginnings of her studio album Light Years, she has been recognised for her introduction to more mainstream disco music, which has been evident to her music, with people and critics dubbing her a Disco Queen.[222] While William Baker, co-author of her book Kylie: La La La, was talking about her song "Better the Devil You Know", he commented that "The track transferred well onto the dance-floor and heralded a long reign for Kylie as the new queen of disco... a pop princess."[223] Jon O'Brien from Allmusic reviewed her box-set Kylie: The Albums 2000–2010 and stated "Kylie has yet to make that one essential album, and the going-through-the-motions nature of her later releases suggests her time may have passed, but this box set still contains plenty of moments to justify her position as one of the all-time premier pop princesses."[224] In November 2011, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ARIA Music Awards, she was inducted by the Australian Recording Industry Association into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Many fans, critics and celebrities have noted her as a role model. While Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, many media outlets have said many people, particularly woman, have been going through regular checks for cancer symptoms ever since her diagnosis. In December 2006, Sugar had voted her the Most Inspirational Celebrity by teenage girls.[225] Editor of the magazine Annabel Brog stated "[Kylie] couldn't be any more inspirational. She's friendly, gorgeous, talented – and this year she's shown just how strong she is too."[225] American singer and songwriter Lady Gaga thanked her on Twitter, citing her as "a supportive female."[226] While Minogue was in the era of her cancer, singer Madonna released a statement to her about wishing her well, stating; "Aside from being tremendously talented, Kylie's a fighter and I know this is a battle she will win."[227] Television host Giuliana Rancic had cited Minogue's cancer story "inspirational" because in 2011, she too was diagnosed with cancer. She said "When you get diagnosed, you don't know what to do… you Google. I went online and I read your story, and it gave me the strength to go public as well."[228] Many musical and entertainer's have cited Minogue as an influence including September,[229] Sarah Michelle Gellar, Katy Perry, Destiny's Child, Marilyn Manson, Madonna, Lady Gaga,[226] among many others.

Discography

Tours and concerts

Filmography

Selected films
Year Title Role
1989 The Delinquents Lola Lovell
1994 Street Fighter Cammy
1996 Bio-Dome Dr. Petra von Kant
2001 Moulin Rouge! The Green Fairy
2012 Jack & Diane Tara
2012 Holy Motors Eva Grace (Jean)
2015 San Andreas Beth
Selected television
Year Title Role Notes
1986–1988 Neighbours Charlene Robinson 1987 Logie Awards for Most Popular Actress
1988 Logie Award for Most Popular Personality
Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Victorian Television'
Logie Award for Most Popular Actress
Nominated-Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent
Nominated-Logie Award for Most Popular Personality
1994 The Vicar of Dibley Herself Episode "Community Spirit"
2007 Doctor Who Astrid Peth Episode "Voyage of the Damned"

See also

References

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Bibliography

External links