Kylie Minogue, a teenage soap icon turned global popstar has sold over 80m records in her three-decade career. Now she’s celebrating her 50th birthday. Minogue has spent more than 30 years on the screen, stage and red carpet. But she first found fame playing one half of Australia’s most popular couple in the long-running soap opera Neighbors.
The wedding of Scott and Charlene (Kylie and co-star Jason Donovan) in 1985 was watched by more than 20m viewers in the UK – where the soap had already gained a huge following. Both actors who were briefly a real-life item left the show several years later to pursue UK-based pop music careers. Minogue’s first single, a cover of Little Eva’s The Loco-Motion, shot straight to number one in Australia in 1987 and went on to sell more than 68m records around the world.
Donovan, whose career took him to the stage as a musical star, talked openly about his struggles with drug addiction in the mid-90s. Meanwhile, Kylie who had become one of the few celebrities to be known only by their first name – went on to score hit after hit. By the mid-90s, Minogue had successfully managed to shed her innocent tomboy Charlene image. Her 2001 hit Can’t Get You Out Of My Head went on to become the most played tune of the decade. Kylie has won numerous awards for her music, including five Grammy Awards.
Away from the TV screens, Kylie teamed up again with Jason Donovan for their popular 1988 duet Especially For You – which they sang in a one-off appearance at a Christmas concert in London in 2012. The singer, known as the “princess of pop”, has performed at numerous events with royalty present, including Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2005, Kylie had to postpone her Showgirl Greatest Hits Tour after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. She later recalled going through some “really rotten dark moments” in the months that followed her diagnosis. In a message marking her 50th birthday on Twitter, the singer thanked her family, friends and medical staff who helped her go through her battle with breast cancer more than 10 years ago.
Kylie has performed at some landmark events, including the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She’s even launched her own lingerie and range of bed linen. Kylie posted a tweet alongside a picture with the caption: “And so a new decade begins. How thankful I am for the opportunities life has afforded me. 50 Let’s go!” The singer shows no signs of slowing down, with her latest album, Golden making number one in both Australia and the UK this year.