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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Pop star Kylie's route to success
Kylie Minogue
Minogue put her TV career aside to secure a 17-year pop career
Kylie Minogue, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, established herself as Australia's biggest-selling pop star after an early career in TV acting.

Minogue had already appeared in Australian children's series Skyways and The Henderson Kids before securing the role of feisty mechanic Charlene Mitchell in soap opera Neighbours.

First broadcast on BBC One in 1986, the soap's UK success soon matched its popularity in Australia, with Minogue and co-star Jason Donovan becoming the show's foremost stars.

Simulataneously, Minogue ventured into pop - recording a cover version of Little Eva's vintage hit The Loco-Motion which subsequently went to number one in Australia in 1987.

This success persuaded her to fly to the UK to record a single with production team Stock Aitken Waterman, who had already had transatlantic hits with Dead or Alive, Hazel Dean and Bananarama.

I Should Be So Lucky was famously recorded in a hurry after producer Pete Waterman forgot to alert his colleagues to Minogue's UK visit.

Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue
Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue boosted Neighbours viewing figures
Nevertheless the song became a UK number one hit in January 1988, the first of 37 hit singles Minogue would secure in the UK.

Minogue followed her debut success with Got To Be Certain and a re-released version of The Loco-Motion. Meanwhile, the wedding ceremony between her Neighbours character Charlene and Donovan's Scott Robinson drew millions of viewers.

The pair's off-screen relationship further boosted the soap's popularity but, after starring in 1989 movie The Delinquents, Minogue left Neighbours to concentrate on her music career.

During a high-profile romance with INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, Minogue adopted a more sexual pop persona for hits such as Better The Devil You Know and Shocked.

After four studio albums, she left Stock Aitken Waterman to work with UK dance record label Deconstruction, home of hit artists such as M People and The Grid.

Kylie Minogue
Minogue's pop success stalled after she left Stock Aitken Waterman
Minogue's subsequent hits, such as Confide in Me and Put Yourself in My Place, demonstrated a more adult sound - underscored by her 1995 duet with Nick Cave, Where the Wild Roses Grow.

However, this new-found artistic respect did not translate into strong sales for her 1998 album Impossible Princess - renamed simply "Kylie Minogue" in the UK in the wake of Princess Diana's death - and Minogue was dropped by the record label.

Nevertheless the album was a huge success in Australia, where a flamboyant tour consolidated her position as a gay icon and presented Minogue's vivacious "showgirl" persona for the first time.

Having recorded the song In Denial with the Pet Shop Boys for their 1999 album Nightlife, Minogue joined the same label as the pop duo - music industry giant Parlophone.

She regained her chart status in the UK in 2000, when Spinning Around - her first Parlophone single - became her fifth number one.

Kylie Minogue
Can't Get You Out of My Head was the biggest hit of 2001 in the UK
Its suggestive video - in which Minogue wore a small pair of gold hotpants - helped regain the attention of heterosexual music fans, and Minogue was re-established as a mainstream pop star.

Fourteen months later she would go further by establishing Can't Get You Out of My Head as the best-selling single of 2001, scoring a US hit in the process.

The song earned the best international video prize at the 2002 Brit Awards, where Minogue was also named best international female.

A year later she returned to the top of the charts with Slow, one of the hits she revisited in her current Showgirl world tour.

Having maintained a career beyond that of most pop performers, 37-year-old Minogue launched the tour by saying: "This tour is not only a celebration of pop songs, and of my career, but also of a long-term relationship with my audience."


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