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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 16:21 GMT
Princess of Pop stages glittering return
By Nick Bryant
BBC News, Sydney

Kylie Minogue
The singer performed hits such as Shocked and On A Night Like This
During her recuperation from chemotherapy, Kylie Minogue authored a children's book - The Showgirl Princess.

The story was a true fairy tale, as she put it, full of glitter, glamour and dreams. She could well have been describing her comeback concert.

Sentiment, lavish stagecraft, extraordinary headgear and, most tantalisingly of all, a hint of danger.

Would Kylie be able to cope with the pressure? Would she be overcome with emotion? Would the diminutive songstress be overwhelmed by the weight of her feathered tiara?

The opening had the feel not just of a comeback but of the second coming - with Kylie rising slowly from a trap-door in the stage.

She choked back the emotion, she smiled as we roared her name, she belted out the first line... and Kylie was back
Michelle Williams, Sydney

For a moment, she was statuesque, as she soaked in the applause of her doting fans, some of whom seemed completely mesmerised to be watching her in the flesh. Then came that trademark smile.

Some fans had bought tickets for this concert almost two years ago, and keeping hold of them was an act of faith.

In the dark days last May, when the 38-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer, some feared they might never get to use them. Others felt there was always likely to be a spotlight at the end of the tunnel.

Short and simple

Kylie Minogue
The singer paused to drink water in between songs
Looking resplendent in a stunning pink costume designed by John Galliano, Kylie kicked off with her classic single Better The Devil You Know. Next came In Your Eyes.

As the applause died down, she actually spoke.

"Good evening Sydney!" she ventured. "How are you feeling tonight?" Then it was straight back to the music.

This is the age of the sermonizing rock star, but Kylie has always kept things short, snappy and simple.

Deep and meaningful she is not. But perhaps that explains some of her appeal. People project themselves onto Kylie, rather than the other way round.

By this stage of the concert, of course, it had become patently clear that the Melbourne-born singer was feeling just fine herself.

The only outward signs of her chemotherapy were her shorter-than-normal hair, which was largely obscured by feathers, and taking a sip of water from a glass between songs.

Rags to riches

Kylie Minogue
Kylie told fans she was "thrilled to be back"
Australians love her story: the girl-next-door who escaped the cul-de-sac of an Ozzie soap to make it big abroad.

But her battle with cancer has made her a more substantial figure. She has shown grit and resilience, qualities which the Australians hold dear.

For many, her illness has given her extra credibility. The girl-next-door has become a woman.

At times, the comeback felt like a carnival, full of sequins, shocking pink feather boas, "Kyliscious" t-shirts and pink cowboy hats.

But the celebratory mood was probably just the tonic she needed.

This time last year, Minogue was undergoing the nightmare of chemotherapy, an ordeal she likened to experiencing a nuclear bomb.

Tonight, she lived out a fairytale. With plumed pomp and musical majesty, the Princess of Pop is back.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Kylie in feathers and sequins



SEE ALSO
Kylie returns to stage in Sydney
11 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Did you go to see Kylie's comeback?
09 Nov 06 |  Have Your Say
Photographs show Kylie recovery
13 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Kylie Minogue makes stage return
12 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Kylie 'fine' after cancer surgery
21 May 05 |  Entertainment
Why Kylie's star still shines
18 May 05 |  Entertainment
Kylie Minogue has breast cancer
17 May 05 |  Entertainment

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