Today, Kylie Minogue is looked up to as a very popular singer and an inspiration after her battle with cancer, but back in the eighties, she perhaps wasn’t taken quite so seriously.
Kylie Ann Minogue (now an OBE!) was born 28th May 1968 in Melbourne, Australia. She is the oldest of three children, with her sister Dannii also being an actress and singer, whilst her brother Brendan is a news cameraman in Australia. As a child Kylie had bit parts in several Aussie soaps (including The Sullivans, which I remember was one of Mum’s favourite programmes when I was a kid), but initially Dannii was the sibling who enjoyed the greater success.
In 1985 this changed when Kylie was cast with one of the lead roles in The Henderson Kids, and then in 1986 she really made a name for herself playing tomboy Charlene Ramsey in Neighbours. Dannii was to follow in Kylie’s footsteps from them, as she then got a role in rival soap Home and Away, and then went on to launch her own singing career.
In 1987 Kylie entered the world of music with a cover of The Locomotion which topped the Australian charts. She came to England and signed up with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, releasing what most people in the UK will recognise as her first single – I Should Be So Lucky. Legend has it that Stock, Aitken and Waterman didn’t really know who Kylie was and had forgot she was coming to visit them, so ended up writing this track for her while she waited in the studio. The song was a phenomenal success, reaching number one in the UK, Australia, Germany and many other places.
For the next few years Kylie was never far from the top of the charts in both Australia and the UK, with songs such as It’s No Secret, Got To Be Certain and Turn It Into Love being extremely well received with the record buying public.
Despite this though, Kylie was always seeming to be put down by the media, possibly because her departure from Aussie soaps to the music world then started a rush of similar attempts by other Aussie actors. Most notable among these is probably Jason Donovan, who played her boyfriend and then husband Scott Robinson in Neighbours. Indeed, Kylie and Jason were often rumoured to be linked romantically in real life, a state of affairs that was not helped when the pair released the duet single Especially For You.
In 1989 Kylie went back to acting with a role in The Delinquents, but the movie failed to do well, so she refocussed on her music career, leaving Stock, Aitken and Waterman behind and signing with Deconstruction Records. This move heralded a new found respect for Kylie in the media, although she didn’t really set the charts alight again until the revealing costumes and gold hot pants of the late nineties and early noughties.
Kylie is still going strong today, and is now also a role model for young women in another sense, after the strong stand she took during her battle with breast cancer, which doctors have said has had a positive effect on making women aware of the dangers of cancer.