Kylie Ann Minogue (born May 28, 1968) is an Australian singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Minogue rose to prominence in the late 1980s, as a result of her role in the Australian television soap opera Neighbours, before she commenced her career as a pop recording artist.
Signed to a contract by British songwriters and producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman, she achieved a string of hit records throughout the world, but her popularity began to decline by the early 1990s, leading her to part company from Stock, Aitken & Waterman in 1992. For several years she attempted to establish herself as an independent performer and songwriter, distancing herself from her earlier work. Her projects were widely publicised, but her albums failed to attract a substantial audience and resulted in the lowest sales of her career.
Kylie Minogue was born in Melbourne, Australia, to an Australian father, Ron Minogue, and a Welsh-born mother, Carol Jones who had immigrated as a child from Maesteg, Wales in 1955 to Townsville, Queensland. Kylie is the eldest of three children; her sister Dannii Minogue (born Danielle Jane Minogue) is also a pop singer, and her brother, Brendan, works as a news cameraman in Australia. The Minogue sisters began their careers as children on Australian television, and from the age of 11, Kylie Minogue appeared in soap operas such as Skyways, The Sullivan’s and The Henderson Kids. Dannii Minogue became successful as a regular performer on the weekly music programme Young Talent Time, in which Kylie gave her first singing performance in 1983. Kylie was overshadowed by her younger sister until achieving success in 1986 with her role in the soap opera Neighbours.
Minogue played the character of Charlene Mitchell; a story arc that created a romance between her character and that played by her then real-life boyfriend Jason Donovan culminated in a wedding episode in 1987 that attracted a large audience. Her popularity in Australia was demonstrated when she became the first person to win four Logie Awards in one event, including the “Gold Logie” as the country’s “Most Popular Television Performer”, with the result determined by public vote. Neighbours began screening in the United Kingdom in 1986, and it achieved high ratings
During a Fitzroy Football Club benefit concert 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 Australian recording 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 with Mushroom Records executive Gary Ashley to work with Stock, Aitken & Waterman. They knew little of Minogue and had forgotten that she was arriving; as a result, they wrote “I Should Be So Lucky” while she waited outside the studio. Her debut album Kylie, a collection of dance songs, reached number one on the British albums chart and became the year’s highest-selling album. It sold over seven million copies worldwide, with most sales occurring in Europe and Asia, and it contained six successful singles, which includes the largest success “I Should Be So Lucky”. It was only in the United States and Canada where the album did not sell strongly; however, the re-recorded version of “The Loco-Motion” reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Canadian Singles Chart. “It’s No Secret”, released only in the U.S., performed poorly and peaked at number thirty-seven in early 1989. In late 1988 Minogue departed from Neighbours in order to concentrate fully on her music career.
A duet with Jason Donovan, titled “Especially for You” was a major success in the United Kingdom in early 1989. The critic Kevin Killian wrote that it was “majestically awful… makes the Diana Ross, Lionel Richie “Endless Love” sound like Mahler”. She was sometimes referred to as “The Singing Budgie” by her detractors over the coming years. Chris True’s comment about the album Kylie for All Music Guide suggests that Minogue’s appeal transcended the limitations of her music, by noting that “her cuteness makes these rather vapid tracks bearable”.