she's only managed one hit in the U.S. since her arrival as a
singer in 1987, Kylie Minogue is both Australia and Europe's biggest
selling female pop singer over that period and a pop culture icon
in those areas. Her image on the cover of magazines is guaranteed
to produce extra sales. But a singing career was never what Minogue
had in mind for herself.
Minogue was born on May 28, 1968, in Melbourne. In 1979, she began
her acting career in the Australian TV drama series Skyways, eventually
gaining a starring role in a children's series, The Henderson
Kids, before achieving national fame in the five-days-a-week soap
opera Neighbours. Around the time Minogue joined, Neighbours also
started airing in the U.K.
A major celebrity on the basis of her Neighbours popularity, Minogue
had agreed to give a charity performance in the company of other
personalities, choosing to sing Little Eva's "Loco-Motion. Someone
hit on the idea of submitting a tape of the performance to local
record company, Mushroom, who didn't think much of the demo, but
saw the potential in releasing a single by the extremely popular
young TV star. In their wildest dreams no one imagined a national
number one record with the recorded version of "Loco-Motion" (July
At that time, Mushroom Records had formed a business relationship
with London hit factory Stock Aitken and Waterman (Dead or Alive,
Mel and Kim, Samantha Fox, Bananarama, Rick Astley) who also saw
potential in working with the popular actress, but she wasn't
a priority. In fact, when Minogue turned up at their London studios
they had forgotten she was coming and quickly wrote her a song
while she waited. The result, "I Should Be So Lucky," gave Minogue
the second of her six Australian number one singles and the first
of her five English number ones. Now she became a priority for
Stock Aitken and Waterman. As was their way, Stock Aitken and
Waterman wrote and produced her records and they controlled her
video image. Their re-recorded "Loco-Motion" put Minogue in the
Top Ten in the U.S. In Australia, the U.K., and Europe, Minogue
was scoring hit after hit and quickly left Neighbours to meet
the demand on her.
If she was ever just along for the ride, Minogue took her first
step towards control over her career with her 1990 single "Better
the Devil You Know," not letting Stock Aitken and Waterman see
the video she was making for the song until it was completed.
SAW insisted on casting her in a girl-next-door mode, while Minogue
opted for a saucier Madonna-like image. It ensured her continued
success and reputation as a celebrity beyond the pop charts. With
her fourth album, Let's Go to It (1991), the singer also insisted
on lyrical input.
Kylie Minogue ended up leaving Stock Aitken and Waterman and recorded
two albums, Kylie Minogue and Impossible Princess, with London
dance label Deconstruction. A romantic relationship with INXS
singer Michael Hutchence had encouraged her to experiment musically.
While the backbone of both albums was the Brothers in Rhythm team
Minogue was keen to work with a variety of people. One unlikely
collaboration saw a duet with Nick Cave, especially written by
Cave for his Murder Ballads album. "Where the Wild Flowers Grow"
featured a nude Minogue floating dead in the water for its video.
While Impossible Princess represented another major career turning
point in Australia — Minogue's transition to a concert performer
— in Europe the album was not considered a success. In 2000, she
was encouraged by the Pet Shop Boys to switch to their label,
Parlophone, and she re-emerged as the pop princess of old with
the critical hit Light Years. The single "Spinning Around," went
number one in both England and Australia. Her reign in music continued
in 2001. Minogue issued Fever in October on the heels of the successful
single "Can't Get You Out of My Head." Such hype around the song
allowed it to become an global smash, earning Minogue two Brit
Awards in February 2002 for "Best International Female" and "Best
International Album" for Fever. Shortly thereafter, Fever was
released in the U.S. on Capitol, landing Minogue her biggest U.S.
hit with "Can't Get You Out of My Head" in nearly fifteen years.
Spots on MTV's TRL and Saturday Night Live proved her power.
Without anything approaching Madonna's musical strength, like
Madonna Minogue has ensured her survival with imaginative videos
and by keeping fans guessing and intrigued with consistent changes
of personal image. She has also appeared in a number of movies
over the years. 1999's Cut with Molly Ringwald was her eighth