Kylie Minogue is the eldest of three children (sister Dannii and brother
Brendan). Influenced by her mother's career, she decided to go into show
business and at the age of 11 she made her TV debut. She appeared in several
Australian television series as a child and teenager, including Young Talent
Time, The Sullivans and The Henderson Kids, before rising to prominence in 1986
with her role in the Australian soap opera Neighbors.
Kylie played the character of Charlene Mitchell, a tomboy who rebelled at every opportunity. Charlene soon fell in love with boy next door Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan. The storylines between the young lovers proved popular with viewers and they soon became famous. A record audience watched Scott and Charlene's wedding episode in 1987.
As part of an Australian Rules Football charity event in 1987, Kylie sang a boppy cover of The Loco-Motion. The song was so successful the Australian record company Mushroom Records released it as a single. It shot to number one in the Australian charts for 7 weeks and also topping the New Zealand charts. It became the best selling Australian single of the 1980s.
Kylie Minogue's success caught the attention of British production team Stock Aitken Waterman, (or 'SAW', responsible for many bubblegum late-'80s pop hits) and she soon left Australia for London, signing a 5 year record contract. Her first album Kylie was the best selling album of 1988 in Europe and Australia, and spawned several international number one singles such as the classic I Should Be So Lucky, The Loco-Motion and Got To Be Certain.
After the singles from Kylie, Kylie released a duet with her Neighbours cast-mate Jason Donovan, who by this time was also a SAW star. Especially For You went to number one and narrowly missed out on becoming the UK's 1988 Christmas number one.
Three more PWL albums followed, Enjoy Yourself (1989), Rhythm of Love (1990) and Let's Get To It (1991). The albums contained several memorable pop tunes including Better the Devil You Know and Shocked, although Kylie was, at this point, more of a singles act. Disagreements soon followed with producer Pete Waterman over her level of artistic freedom. In a bold move, Kylie left PWL to join indie/dance label Deconstruction. A concurrent romance with Michael Hutchence of INXS caused her to adopt a less innocent, more vampish image.
Her first album for her new label, the self-titled Kylie Minogue, was a much more industrial, noisier affair than the lightweight pop which had been her staple up to that point. Nonetheless it had only one single of some success: Confide In Me. The album sold disappointingly, alienating her pop fans and never connecting with a more critical audience, and Minogue seemed likely to vanish into the post-PWL which had swallow up Mel & Kim, Sinitta, and indeed Jason Donovan himself. Certainly, the pattern of pop hits - dissatisfaction - mature album - obscurity was well-established by that time. Very few acts had managed to buck the trend.
Kylie Minogue's career was revived, particularly in Australia, with a dark, surreal single with Nick Cave called "Where The Wild Roses Grow" in 1995. The song was a duet between a murderer (Cave) and his victim (Minogue). Cave also persuaded Minogue to recite the lyrics to 'I Should Be So Lucky' as poetry, in a 1996 poetry jam held at the Royal Albert Hall.
Her second (and final) Deconstruction album Impossible Princess (renamed Kylie Minogue in the UK in light of the contemporary death of Princess Diana) contain collaborations with artists such as The Manic Street Preachers. The album received some favourable reviews - the critics, who had hitherto despised her, now respected her pluck - but it sold even less, and soon she was dropped. For a brief while she took to modelling lingerie for H&M, a move which was seen at the time as an inglorious failure.
In 1999 Kylie Minogue signed to Parlophone to work on a new album, released in 2000 as "Light Years". This time it was an out-and-out disco affair, slightly kitsch, but knowing. It sold strongly, particularly after the success of the first single, Spinning Around.
On the back of the success of Light Years. She went on to release a further album, "Fever", which surprisingly debuted in the American Billboard Charts at number 3. Ever since the Beatles' success it had been a goal of British producers to 'crack America', something they appeared to have done with Kylie. The album was heavily influenced by 80s electropop, such as the Human League and early Depeche Mode. The single "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" topped in charts in many countries including the UK and Australia, and for the first time penetrated the US charts. In the UK, in particular, it was an enormous success, remaining on radio playlists for most of 2001. The song was catchy, sophisticated, and blessed of a striking video. A remix which combined Kylie's vocals with the tune of New Order's classic "Blue Monday" was a masterstroke, bringing her to the attention of a trendy late-twentysomething demographic which had bopped 'til dawn to the original.
In 2002, Madame Tussaud's revealed a new-look Kylie Minogue waxwork. Posed in the manner of a leopard about to leap, the waxwork was both criticised and praised for the visible extent of Minogue's bottom, clad only in Agent Provocateur underwear.
In 2003 she released "Body Language". The first single from it, "Slow", topped the charts in the UK and Australia. Simultaneously, Kylie launched a range of lingerie, 'LoveKylie', which sold strongly. Indeed, her lingerie calendar was the UK's best-selling calendar in 2003, the second-best selling being Kylie's non-lingerie calendar. Her continued good looks, fine bone structure, taut body and - yes - exquisite derriere have become international obsessions.
While Minogue still retains a place in the iconography of 1980s kitsch, her constant musical and image reinventions have allowed her career to progress beyond it. Kylie is the only female singer other than Madonna to reach number one on the UK pop charts in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Throughout her music career, Kylie has taken breaks to return to acting.
In 1989, she starred in The Delinquents, a tale of Australian teenage life in the late 1950s. The film was critically panned and was not a commercial success, although the soundtrack single Tears On My Pillow went to number one.
In 1994 Kylie Minogue played Cammy in the action film Streetfighter, based on the computer game of the same name. The film received monumentally poor reviews, although Kylie emerged unscathed.
Kylie Minogue's greatest film success, is also her smallest role. In Moulin Rouge (2001) she played the small part of Absinthe, the Green Fairy, singing a line from The Sound of Music.
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