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Kylie Minogue
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Kylie Minogue

']] Kylie Ann Minogue (born May 28, 1968) is an Australian singer and actress who has been based primarily in the United Kingdom since the early 1990s.

Her recording career has been marked by periods of outstanding success and comparative failure. Despite criticism, particularly in the early stages of her career, she has evolved her musical and visual style to attain longevity in the competitive field of pop music. As she has matured from a teenager into an adult, she has become one of her generation's most recognisable celebrities and sex symbols. In many parts of the world, she is known simply as Kylie.

Table of contents
1 Early life and Neighbours
2 Recording career
3 Image and celebrity status
4 Film career
5 Album discography
6 Trivia
7 Singles Discography showing Australian, UK and US chart positions
8 Further reading
9 External links

Early life and Neighbours

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Minogue is the eldest of three children. Her sister Dannii Minogue is also a pop singer. Minogue first came to attention as a child actor in Australian soap operas, making her acting debut at the age of 11. She appeared in Young Talent Time, The Sullivans and The Henderson Kids, before rising to prominence in 1986 with her role in the Australian soap opera Neighbours.

On Neighbours, Minogue played the character of Charlene Mitchell, a tomboy who rebelled at every opportunity, and who fell in love with the boy next door, Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan. The storylines featuring the young couple proved popular with viewers, and both Minogue and Donovan were drawn into the public spotlight, becoming recognisable celebrities for the first time in their respective careers. A record audience watched the episode featuring Scott and Charlene's wedding in 1987.

Minogue's personal popularity in Australia eclipsed that of other cast members, and to a degree that of the program itself. She was the recipient of a Gold Logie Award, as the nation's most popular television performer, with the result determined by public vote. The program began screening in the United Kingdom in 1987 and was highly successful. As in Australia, Minogue was considered to be one of the program's most popular and charismatic performers. She left the series in 1988 to concentrate on her music career.

Recording career

'.]] During a charity event with other Neighbours cast members, Minogue performed Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion" and was signed to a recording contract with Mushroom Records in 1987. Released as a single, and retitled "Locomotion", the song spent seven weeks at number one on the Australian music charts, and was the year's highest selling single. Its success resulted in Minogue travelling to London to work with production team Stock, Aitken & Waterman;. Her first album "Kylie", a collection of dance songs, reached number one on the British albums charts, and was the year's highest selling. It contained six hit singles including "I Should Be So Lucky", and a new version of "The Loco-Motion". The United States was the only major record market in which this album did not sell strongly. Although "The Loco-Motion" reached number three on the US Billboard Magazine Chart, she failed to make a firm impression on the American record buying market. A duet with Jason Donovan titled "Especially For You" was a major hit in Britain in early 1989.

Her follow up album, Enjoy Yourself (1989), continued in the style of its predecessor, and with several hit singles, became another success in the United Kingdom and Australia. Critics who were confounded by her first success, became hostile in light of her second album and began to discuss her limitations as a performer. One critic named her "The Singing Budgie", a name that stuck for several years. By this time she had become Stock, Aitken & Waterman's highest selling act, and its first priority. In the face of widespread criticism it was decided to adjust the overall style of Minogue's music.

Her next album, Rhythm of Love (1990), marked a departure from the bubblegum music of her previous albums, and attempted a more sophisticated and adult style of dance music. It also marked the first signs of rebellion against her production team and the carefully crafted "girl-next-door" image they had designed for her. Determined to be accepted by a more mature audience, Minogue took control of her music videos for the first time, and presented herself as a sexually aware adult. A concurrent romance with INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence, futhered Minogue's attempts to gain acceptance as a mature performer, with Hutchence stating in an interview that his favourite hobby was "corrupting Kylie".

The single releases all sold well, and were also successful in the UK nightclubs, where they were accepted by the older audience Minogue had deliberately targeted. When the album's fourth single, "Shocked", reached the British Top 10 in 1991, Minogue became the first recording artist to place their first 13 single releases in the Top 10.

' cover, her fourth album.]] After the success of Rhythm of Love, which had received generally positive reviews, her next album Let's Get To It (1991), was designed to broaden Minogue's appeal. Stock, Aitken & Waterman provided her with a diverse range of ballads and slower dance songs, but it did not receive strong reviews. The first single, "Word Is Out" became her first single to peak outside of the British Top 10, and the album did not sell well. In Australia, her popularity of the previous years was followed by a backlash, and the Australian public appeared to have grown indifferent to her. Her media supporters described her as a victim of tall poppy syndrome.

Her career was briefly revived by the release of a Greatest Hits album in 1992. It contained all of her hit singles, as well as three new recordings, and reached number one in the UK. The album's release coincided with her departure from Stock, Aitken & Waterman. Her final single release with them, "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)" was only a minor success.

Minogue's subsequent signing with Deconstruction Records was highly touted in the music media as the beginning of a new phase in hers career, but the first album released, the self titled Kylie Minogue (1994), received mixed reviews. Collaborations with such established and successful dance artists as Pet Shop Boys and M People disappointed both critics and record buyers alike. The album was a moderate success, but only achieved one hit single of note, "Confide In Me". The media which had earlier triumphed Minogue's departure from Stock, Aitken & Waterman, now began to predict the end of her career.

A 1995 duet with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds titled "Where The Wild Roses Grow" resulted in widespread acclaim in Australia, where the single won the ARIA Award for "Song of the Year" and "Best Pop Release". A brooding ballad whose lyrics narrated a murder from the points of view of both the murderer, (Cave), and his victim (Minogue), the song demonstrated that Minogue could be accepted outside of her established genre as a dance artist. Her next album Impossible Princess (1997) featured collaborations with such highly regarded musicians as Manic Street Preachers, and saw Minogue participating more in the songwriting process. The album became the lowest selling of her career in the United Kingdom, although many critics wrote positively of her attempt to develop as an artist. The album was her most successful release in Australia since her debut album, with sales boosted by a highly successful live tour.

'.]] Minogue and Deconstruction Records parted company shortly after, and she signed with Parlophone. Her album Light Years (2000) was strongly flavoured with 1970s disco, and was knowingly kitsch. It received the best reviews of her career and quickly became a success throughout Europe and Australia. The single "Spinning Around" became her first British number one in 10 years, with its accompanying video, featuring Minogue in revealing gold hot pants, receiving widespread television airplay. The subsequent single releases, including the duet Kids with Robbie Williams, also sold strongly.

Minogue played to the biggest audience of her career at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where she performed a cover version of the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen" and her then-current single, "On A Night Like This".

The following year she released the album Fever. It also received positive reviews although many reviewers commented that it was not as consistently appealing as Light Years. Its musical style retained some disco elements and combined them with 1980s electropop. The first single, "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", spent four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, reached number one in most European countries, and also in Australia. The album's success was equally widespread, and for the first time since 1988, American radio stations gave her extensive airplay. The album debuted on the American Billboard chart at number 3, and the single reached number 7. Further singles were substantial hits throughout the world, and Minogue established a presence in the mainstream American market, achieved particular success in the American club scene.

Her credibility as a recording artist was enhanced by winning a Best Dance Recording Grammy in 2004 for the single "Come Into My World", against fellow nominees Madonna, Cher, Groove Armada and Télépopmusik. She had previously been nominated in the same category in 2003 for "Love At First Sight".

Her next album Body Language (2003) dispensed with the disco style, and included elements of hip hop. Sales in the United Kingdom and Australia were relatively low, despite the success of its first single, the uncharacteristically subdued "Slow". In the United States the album made little impression, although the singles became major club hits.

Image and celebrity status

Like most recording artists of her era, Minogue has utilised the medium of the music video as the most effective way of promoting her image, and has consistently worked at creating and evolving her visual representation. Her earliest videos portrayed her as a "girl-next-door" who was innocent and slightly gauche. When she took control of her portrayal in 1990, she quickly developed a more adult, slightly raunchier image, which caused her to be be compared unfavourably to Madonna. Minogue admitted that she was an influence, but as her confidence grew she established a persona that differed considerably from that of Madonna. Unlike Madonna, Minogue has rarely portrayed herself as a sexual aggressor. Instead she presents herself as a more passive object of desire, and frequently imbues her performances with camp elements and humour. She has occasionally satirised herself, most notably in the video for "Did It Again", in which the four major incarnations of Minogue's career, "Cute Kylie", "Dance Kylie", "Sex Kylie" and "Indie Kylie" battled for supremacy, with "Sex Kylie" fittingly as the ultimate victor. Her videos have touched on adult themes – an interracial relationship in "Better The Devil You Know", lesbian posturing in "What Do I Have To Do", and telephone sex in "Confide In Me". She performed a slow strip tease in the Barbarella inspired "Put Yourself In My Place", and wore revealing costumes in the majority of her videos, most notably those for "Spinning Around" and "Can't Get You Out Of My Head".

These efforts caused elements of the British press to label her SexKylie. She has created her own LoveKylie range of lingerie, and her saucy calendars have been consistently high sellers throughout much of her career. Despite the success of this marketing strategy, and her acceptance by a large audience as a contemporary sex symbol, her critics maintained that her willingness to display her body was an attempt to disguise her lack of talent, and although Minogue accepted these criticisms throughout her career with little public comment, she announced in 2003 that she would present herself more demurely in future. She also stated that this was a result of what she describes as an unplanned incident at the 2003 Brit Awards. During a duet performance with Justin Timberlake, he crudely grabbed her bottom. Minogue said the incident embarassed her, and caused her to question the public perception of her as a sex object, a perception she admitted she had created.

Throughout her career, Minogue has been the subject of intense media interest in both the United Kingdom and Australia, which has remained consistent even while her success as a recording artist fluctuated. Her relationships, including her current relationship with French actor, Olivier Martinez, have been extensively reported.

Early in her career, Minogue became a gay icon. While part of her appeal lies in her flamboyant costumes, her humour and sense of fun, and her confident sexual posturing, she has also consistently acknowledged the gay community throughout the world, not only by her willingness to perform at gay venues and at gay events, but also by her outspoken commitment to raising social awareness and acceptance towards people living with AIDS.

As she has matured, she has been accepted by a wider audience than simply that of her record buying fans, particularly in Australia, where her profile has been used to promote issues such as recycling projects through Planet Ark, as well as a campaign to raise public awareness to domestic violence.

Film career

Minogue's film career has not taken the typical path of a successful singer attempting to broaden his or her appeal. Her career in pop music was only possible as a result of her high profile as a television actress. Her film roles have been few, and have generally resulted from her high profile as a pop singer.

In 1989, she starred in The Delinquents, which told the story of a young girl growing up in the Australia of the late 1950s. Its release coincided with her popularity in Neighbours, and while both the film and Minogue's performance were the subject of derisive comments by critics, the film was a commercial success.

In 1994 she played Cammy in the action film Street Fighter, based on the computer game of the same name. The film received poor reviews, and did nothing to further Minogue's acting career.

In Moulin Rouge (2001) she played the part of Absinthe, the Green Fairy, singing a line from The Sound of Music. This cameo remains her most widely seen film performance.

In 2004 she will provide the voice of Florence in a new film based on The Magic Roundabout.

Album discography

Trivia

Singles Discography showing Australian, UK and US chart positions


Title

Year of release

U.K.
Peak positions
Australia

United States
"Locomotion"
1987
not released
1
not released
"I Should Be So Lucky"
1988
1
1
28
"Got To Be Certain"
1988
2
1
not released
"The Loco-Motion"
1988
2
not released
3
"Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi"
1988
2
11
not released
"Especially For You"
(duet with Jason Donovan)
1988
1
2
not released
"It's No Secret"
1989
not released
not released
37
"Hand On Your Heart"
1989
1
2
not released
"Wouldn't Change a Thing"
1989
2
6
not released
"Never Too Late"
1989
4
14
not released
"Tears On My Pillow"
1989
1
20
not released
"Better The Devil You Know"
1990
2
4
not released
"Step Back In Time"
1990
4
5
not released
"What Do I Have To Do?"
1990
6
11
not released
"Shocked"
1991
6
7
not released
"Word Is Out"
1991
16
10
not released
"If You Were With Me Now"
(duet with Keith Washington)
1992
4
23
not released
"Keep On Pumpin' It"
(Beatmasters & Tony King featuring Kylie)
1992
49
not released
not released
"Give Me Just A Little More Time"
1992
2
24
not released
"Finer Feelings"
1992
11
60
not released
"What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)"
1992
17
14
not released
"Celebration"
1992
20
21
not released
"Confide In Me"
1994
2
1
not released
"Put Yourself In My Place"
1994
11
11
not released
"Where Is The Feeling?"
1995
16
31
not released
"Where The Wild Roses Grow"
(duet with Nick Cave)
1995
11
2
not released
"Some Kind Of Bliss"
1997
22
27
not released
"Did It Again"
1997
14
15
not released
"Breathe"
1998
14
23
not released
"GBI:German Bold Italic"
(Towa Tei featuring Kylie Minogue)
1998
63
50
not released
"Cowboy Style"
1998
not released
39
not released
"Spinning Around"
2000
1
1
not released
"On A Night Like This"
2000
2
1
not released
"Kids"
(duet with Robbie Williams)
1998
2
14
not released
"Please Stay"
1998
10
15
not released
"Your Disco Needs You"
2001
not released
20
not released
"Can't Get You Out Of My Head"
2001
1
1
7
"In Your Eyes"
2002
3
1
not released
"Love At First Sight"
2002
2
3
23
"Come Into My World"
2002
8
4
91
"Slow"
2003
1
1
91
"Red Blooded Woman"
2004
5
4
did not chart
"Chocolate"
2004
6
14
release pending

Further reading

External links