Kylie Minogue

“I don’t try to be a sex bomb. I am one.”

Kylie Minogue, Australian actress and singer, 1968-present

Still a bombshell in her ’50s, Kylie Minogue, or simply “Kylie,” is the only female pop star to have topped the charts in five consecutive decades, most recently with her 2020 album Disco

Her singing career started in 1988 with a surprise smash hit “The Loco-Motion“ which made her an international star. The BBC called her pop’s most underestimated icon, and collaborator Rufus Wainwright said she was the “gay shorthand for joy.”

LGBTQIA+ fans have been a key factor in Kylie Minogue’s success. Her 1990 hit “Better the Devil You Know” (insiders call it BTDYK) being a turning point in her transformation from girl-next-door to feather-festooned sex symbol in gold hot pants. London’s gay community embraced her wholly during the three decades she called the city home, The Evening Standard calling her “The capital’s walking fairy dust—its joy valve.” In her honour, London’s G-A-Y nightclub played BTDYK at 12:30 every Saturday night. Part of her staying power is that she appeals to a wide demographic of men and women across multiple generations and gender identities. Her distinctive dance routines from her videos are mimicked on dance floors from France to Germany to London.

Raised in suburban Melbourne, the daughter of an accountant and a former ballet dancer, she is fondly remembered for playing a bubbly mechanic on the popular TV soap-opera Neighbours.

Turning to singing, and with the help of a London-based “hit factory,” she churned out chart topper after chart topper. But you know you’ve achieved icon status when Madonna performs in a T-shirt with your name on it (as she did in 2000). 2001's disco-inspired Fever album, which went platinum in the US, included what has been called the “era defining” hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” That same year she appeared in the movie Moulin Rouge! as The Green Fairy. 2002’s “Come Into My World” won her a Grammy for best dance recording.

Right at the peak of her career Kylie received some bad news: a diagnosis of breast cancer. She took a year off for treatment and recovery. She says that the experience made her know herself better. She has admitted that marriage has never been her goal, and likes to throw herself into her work like an excited puppy. 

Kylie has recently had a style renaissance, with young women (and men) channeling her sparkly and feminine feathery ensembles in the wake of the launch of her line of rosé wine. She also relaunched her perfume, Darling, in a new vegan formula. It’s not so much that Minogue reinvents herself, like so many long-lasting female stars, but that she adapts to time and mood, her uplifting pandemic album Disco a case in point.


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