Little Miss Sunshine

10 07 2008

On Tuesday, The Daily Express printed a refreshingly positive article about Kylie entitled, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. Amongst all of the rumours and lies that are printed about Kylie in the British press it was great to find an article which simply celebrates what’s great about our girl, so I couldn’t resist posting it on here for anyone who didn’t get a chance to read it.

Last week she picked up an OBE, this week she has been voted Britain’s most popular person. So what does make the eternally happy Kylie Minogue such an unlikely icon?

When she was seven years old, Kylie Minogue entered a piano competition near her home in Melbourne, Australia. “Apparently, I walked on to the stage, sat on the piano stool and before I began to play, unprompted, looked over to the judges and gave them a big smile. To this day, I’m not sure if it was my piano playing or the smile that scored me a place.” Since then, she’s made a habit of flashing that trademark mega-watt grin.

While other pop divas enhance their reputation by falling out of night­clubs drunk at 3am, taking drugs or gesticulating at the pap­arazzi who trail them, Kylie has chosen a very different route: by being girl-next-door nice.

So nice, in fact, that she is now, officially, the most popular person in Britain – more popular, even, than the much-loved Terry Wogan and Bruce Forsyth, who came second and third respectively in the poll by leading market research firm onepoll.com. For many pop stars, coming top of a list like this would be deeply worrying but Kylie is nothing if not smart: she knows her enduring appeal depends on the depth of her fan base.

She may not have the greatest voice; she may not be the best dancer or the most sultry performer but as a package she is peerless. Women want to be her and men want to be with her.

The Doctor Who episode in which she guest starred last Christmas drew the show’s highest viewing figures since 1979, while she has been honoured with no fewer than four waxworks at Madame Tussauds – only the Queen has had more models made. And while she may be popular with the masses, last year she was also considered worthy of her own exhibition at London’s V&A museum.

Official recognition of public affection for her crowns a glittering year for Kylie: in February, she received a Brit Award for Best International Female Solo Artist; her European comeback concert tour, which kicked off in May, has been a sell-out and last week she was awarded an OBE by Prince Charles. In typical Kylie style, she gave the heir to the throne “that smile” before chatting, joking and even clasping his hand with both of hers, leaving him looking decidedly smitten.

There is something about Kylie that makes people want to protect her – and not just because she’s only 5ft tall. At 40, she still has a doll-like appeal. Her poor taste in men – she dated Jason Donovan, rock star Michael Hutchence and model James Gooding, none of whom popped the question – only adds to this effect. More than any other performer you feel that Kylie’s appeal could last for ever. However, as her pop career enters its third decade, she appears to be aware that this is the perfect time to diversify. She has cannily spent the past few years turning herself into a brand, selling everything from cushions and perfume to underwear and candles – all notably cuddly, cosy, intimate products that convey the Kylie feel-good factor.

Since the release of her studio album X at the end of last year, she has appeared in adverts for her third fragrance, Showtime, and promoted her new bed linen range, Kylie at Home. Her earnings last year were estimated at more than £12million. So how did the Australian sex kitten – whose first foray into pop music saw her derided by one critic as a “singing budgie” – inveigle her way into our hearts so effectively?

Kylie is one of the few artists to have had No1 hits in the Eighties, Nineties and 2000s. Her pop career has resulted in sales of more than 65million. But her popularity goes deeper than her ability to churn out breezy hits with the sort of lyrics and tunes that stick in your head long after they’ve finished playing. “I have this smiley-Kylie image and that’s fine with me,” she told an interviewer recently. “I tend to be more of a positive than a negative person. But I still have some dark and sad moments. It’s not my job, though, to go public with those.”

When her relationships flounder, as they too often seem to, she issues dignified statements and never rakes over the coals publicly. Even when she split up with Olivier Martinez, the French actor widely acknow­ledged as the love of her life, after four years together, she didn’t break down publicly but issued a statement in his defence. Last week, they were photo­graphed together again, having dinner at a Paris restaurant with her parents and manager, sparking rum­ours that they were back together. “It’s difficult to age with dignity in the pop business but I like to think I’ve managed it so far,” says the singer who was 40 in May.

Her relentlessly professional attitude – in which she reveals just as much as we need to know but not a smidgen more – was highlighted when she was diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer. A huge surge in sympathetic affection followed, as well as an enormous increase in breast screening, which was nicknamed the Kylie Effect by medical professionals. Although she was seriously ill, we loved her for the way in which she battled the disease with chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. She may have looked pale and wan but when she was pictured in her silk headscarf walking Olivier’s dog around Paris, she seemed to be gathering strength. She famously refused to wear a wig and the pixie look that replaced her flowing tresses when her hair grew back was worn as a badge of honour. “I’m not the same,” she said simply. She came through the other side of her illness to prove that a breast cancer diagnosis didn’t have to be a death sentence and that it was possible to emerge smiling from such a terrifying ordeal.

Seeing her now, it’s hard to believe that just a couple of years ago she was making headlines for her cancer battle. “During my therapy they told me, ‘You’ll reach a point when you’ll almost forget all this has even happened’. Now I tell myself it’s true – I’m back living life to the fullest. Sometimes, I do feel this disease was in the past. It’s remarkable what a person is able to put up with.”

And how much reinvention is possible. Two months after her treatment ended, she was spending six hours a day rehearsing as well as working out regularly. She also found time to write a children’s book, The Show­girl Princess, release the first of her signature scents and to guest-edit Australian Vogue in December, 2006. All of this led one men’s magazine to declare her the “biggest female pop star in the world” and to rave that, while many people in the pop industry are “manipulated puppets” who are “as vacuous” as they often seem, “that’s the last thing you could say about Kylie – she’s all flesh and blood”.

In Aborigine, Kylie means boom­erang and there are few who have demonstrated such an amazing ability to bounce back.

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7 responses

10 07 2008
Dennis

Great article 🙂

11 07 2008
naomi

best one about Kylie in a long run
🙂 🙂 🙂 😛 😛

11 07 2008
Jen

Nicely done!

11 07 2008
Laura

I am sooo glad that Kylie got her o.b.e she did deserve it by far xxox

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

11 07 2008
yazzi

great article. Very positive 🙂

11 07 2008
theimpossibleprincess

Hi guys,

Just a quick note, I’ve just corrected all the emoticons and smileys on this page, if you want to post more than one in a row you need to leave a double space for it to work. 🙂

Glad you liked the article, it’s really nice to see something positive about Kylie in the British press, which unfortunately is usually just full of rumours and gossip.

Thanks for all your comments over the last few months,

Dave 😉

24 07 2008
HarryL

Thumbs up for the article and many thumbs up for Kylie ! Kylie is one of the most positive artist in the world ! She smile always and are happy ! Im very big fan of Kylie, sinse 1988 ! Love to you Kylie !!!

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