The shelf life of a popstar particularly a manufactured one is brief at the best of times. But some stars, such as Madonna and Robbie Williams, have an acute sense of their own marketability, not to mention a hardcore following of fans to keep them at the cutting edge of pop culture. Kylie is another such artist; but what she has - in spades that neither Robbie nor Madonna can lay claim to is innocence.
Doubtful, you may think, as you remember the gold lamé hotpants the pint-sized Ozzie popstrel wore in her Spinning Around
video but it's true. After a two-decade musical career, few people have the wide-eyed look of the first-timer about them that Kylie does, a look which has helped her amass a reported £13 million fortune.
Born in Melbourne on May 28, 1968, to a Welsh mother and accountant father, Kylie Minogue hitched a ride on the fame bus at a very early age. As a nipper she was appearing on Australian TV shows, but it wasn't until 1985, when she won the part of Charlene in the Aussie soap opera Neighbours
that things really started happening.
A star-crossed-lovers story line with fellow teen actor and then real-life boyfriend Jason Donovan, who played Scott, brought the tiny star to the attention of a new audience in Britain. Before long, Scott'n'Charlene-mania had swept the UK and Kylie, who had released a single Down Under, decided it was time for an assault on the British pop charts.
She enjoyed prodigious success with her first UK single, I Should Be So Lucky,
entering the charts at number one some said it entered their brains never to exit, such was the tune's catchiness as did her subsequent releases. Then a slushy duet with Jason landed the pair the coveted Christmas number one spot in 1988.
A career as the golden girl-next-door didn't hold much appeal for Kylie, however, and in 1991 she rolled out a raunchier new image. Some credit must be given to the singer's then boyfriend, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, who is believed to have been instrumental in Kylie's metamorphosis into a pop temptress.
Her third, eponymously titled album was described by Billboard
magazine as "odd, yet mildly appealing". But luke-warm reviews for her music didn't matter Kylie was hot property for the style and fashion press. They lapped up the perfectly proportioned star, with her lush lips and big blue eyes, as did some of the world's most eligible bachelors, including Tim Jefferies and filmmaker Stephane Sednaoui.
Kylie was still looking for musical nirvana, however. Productions with James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers were scoffed at (although a collaboration with Nick Cave got rave reviews), sending Kylie in search of the perfect pop song. Her fifth studio album, Light Years,
had a number of them, including her comeback single, Spinning Around,
which gave the Aussie singer her first number one in several years.
Then, in 2002, her double-platinum album Fever
, featuring the hit single Can't Get You Out Of My Head
, broke the US market and opened the singer up to a new audience who didn't remember her Charlene days.
Meanwhile, her personal life has seen ups and downs, with a highly-publicised split from model James Gooding in 2002, followed soon after by a four-year relationship with French actor Olivier Martinez which ended in February 2007.
If Kylie won admiration for her pop success, her courage and dignity in the face of her 2005 battle against breast cancer earned the public's enduring respect. In 2006 the singer emerged smiling and unbowed from a fight which saw her face gruelling rounds of chemotherapy. She made her comeback in Sydney in November with a sell-out Showgirl Homecoming tour.
The following year Kylie released X
, her first studio album in four years, which she revealed would be promoted with a European tour. Then in December came the announcement that the diminutive singer would be included in the Queen's 2008 New Year honours list, with an OBE for services to music. She followed this triumph with a win at February's Brit Awards, when she picked up a gong for best international artist.