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Perching here and gathering my thoughts ...

Aussie Pop Princess

19 March 2007 ~ 10:06

On Sunday (Mothering Sunday in the UK), I took my mum to see the exhibition Kylie at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (the V&A). The exhibition features costumes worn by the Australian singing star Kylie Minogue. The collection spans three decades and includes outfit worn by her in music videos, stage appearances and red carpet events. It was free and mum enjoyed it immensely. Definitely a fun thing to do for people like Mum & I who are very interested in clothes and fashion.

'Kylie has never achieved the success in America that I think she deserves. Maybe one day the US will realise what they're missing.'

Kylie first shot to fame with the 1987 single ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ and the white frilly nightdress she wore in the video for that was one of the items on display. She had originally found success as the tomboyish mechanic Charlene in the Australian soap Neighbours which is also shown in the UK. Her career has encompassed several changes of image and style, from pure pop to indie to dance tracks. She has dueted with, among others, Jason Donovan (who played her husband Scott in Neighbours) and Robbie Williams.

Kylie is a huge gay icon and some of her most wonderful costumes were those created as stage outfits for concerts, such as the blue showgirl leotard covered in jewels and spangles, worn with a huge ostrich feather headdress.

I have to say, one thing galled me. On a wall outside the exhibition, set up for fans to put their comments on, one person had written, ‘After Madonna, you are the best.’ Sorry, but Kylie is to my mind better than Madonna for many reasons: She has achieved success without feeling the need to shock; she is younger, prettier, has a better voice; and her songs are much more uplifting rather than the mournful and depressing songs Madge groans out. She doesn’t feature animal cruelty in her videos—Madonna has featured a bull fight—and she is by all accounts a nicer person, unlike Madonna who has a reputation for not being very kind to fans.

A couple of years ago Kylie Minogue had some very bad news. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. After an operation and a gruelling year of chemotherapy, during which she was seen out and about in Paris with French boyfriend Olivier Martinez wearing a head scarf, she returned with a new cropped hairstyle to finish the tour she had had to abandon in order to start life saving treatment. Shortly after, she split with Martinez.

Kylie has never achieved the success in America that I think she deserves (though 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' was a number 1 hit there in 2001), but she is hugely popular in Australia, the UK and the rest of Europe. Maybe one day the US will realise what they're missing, but until then, we’ll continue to enjoy the diminutive star on this side of the pond.

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