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Kylie Minogue new al­bum is called Golden – ap­pro­pri­ately as next month the eter­nal sprite of the pop world turns 50. She talks to Eleanor Black about love, life, ca­reer longevity and mar­riage equal­ity.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

There’s some­thing about Kylie Minogue. Still. Af­ter 30 years of work­ing the corsets and the feath­ers and de­liv­er­ing the per­fectly ad­e­quate but not star­tling vo­cals, the oc­ca­sional act­ing gig and the mar­riage equal­ity work, she re­mains ef­fer­ves­cent, lovely and widely ad­mired, es­pe­cially in the United King­dom, where she was awarded an OBE, and Aus­tralia, where they have al­ready im­mor­talised her in bronze.

Kylie is one of a hand­ful of per­form­ers of her gen­er­a­tion who can le­git­i­mately be called an “icon”. She’s sold 80 mil­lion records, her gold hot pants are in a mu­seum, she’s part of our cul­tural his­tory, she’s a cir­cus mas­ter, she’s Kylie – so when you get a chance to chat to her, you grab it. And then you won­der what on Earth you’ll talk about, be­cause you don’t want to be one of those vul­tures who pick over her oper­atic love life or make sly al­lu­sions to her age (she turns 50 this year), and frankly there’s not a lot to say about a an­other al­bum of up­beat, disco-in­spired poppy froth. It’s nice, you know?

Dis­claimer: I am a Kylie fan. The 2001 Fever al­bum helped me through a dif­fi­cult time, and hear­ing it still makes me happy. When she brings her new tour to New Zealand, I will be there, spin­ning around in the crowd. Move outta my way.

I re­ally don’t want to pro­voke her, so it’s a re­lief when she jumps on the touchy top­ics right off the bat. Kylie has one of the most ob­ses­sively re­ported love lives in mod­ern his­tory. Jen­nifer Anis­ton-level ridicu­lous. Ja­son Dono­van, her first fa­mous boyfriend and Neigh­bours co-star, helped her be­come a house­hold name; INXS front­man Michael Hutchence turned her goodie two-shoes image on its head; French ac­tor Olivier Martinez sup­ported her through breast can­cer; Span­ish model An­dres Ve­len­coso left her cry­ing alone ev­ery night af­ter he went.

Kylie says mak­ing Golden soothed her dur­ing her most re­cent heart­break, af­ter she ended her re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tish ac­tor Joshua Sasse, to whom she was en­gaged. She spent two weeks in Nashville con­cen­trat­ing solely on writ­ing mu­sic. “It was in­cred­i­ble, there is some­thing in the air, that place has a magic qual­ity and I don’t think I would have the al­bum I have to­day if I hadn’t made that trip,” she says. “And if I had the op­por­tu­nity to go back, I’d go in a heart­beat. I loved it.”

Her first orig­i­nal al­bum since that stinker Kiss Me Once in 2014 (215,000 world­wide sales, com­pared to Fever, with 6 mil­lion sales) Golden hits the mar­ket on Fri­day. It is her 14th, and even she seems sur­prised by that.

“I was be­ing a clown as usual the other day and went off into some spin, laugh­ing with a friend, and I said, ‘This my 14th stu­dio al­bum!’ and he said, ‘Is this num­ber 14?’ and I thought, ‘Is it?’”

She has re­turned – joy­fully – to the for­mula that worked so well for her in the past, and with­out be­ing rude or unkind, be­cause she is Kylie, she re­as­sures us that this al­bum will not be an un­sat­is­fy­ing pas­tiche like Kiss Me Once, which was pro­duced by a cast of 18, in­clud­ing Sia and Phar­rell Wil­liams.

“The A&R is some­one I worked with at my pre­vi­ous la­bel for 10 or 11 years. Spin­ning Around, Can’t Get You Out of My Head, On a Night Like This – we had a lot of suc­cess to­gether. It was dif­fer­ent to the last al­bum where I was sort of fer­ried around to tonnes of dif­fer­ent stu­dios, did tonnes of dif­fer­ent songs and didn’t re­ally have a guid­ing light or know where I was re­ally go­ing. Not to to­tally down that project, but that’s just the way it was and for this one I wanted to make it a bit eas­ier. Just be­cause some­thing’s eas­ier doesn’t mean it’s not go­ing to have as good a re­sult.”

Also dif­fer­ent to the last al­bum, she won’t be in­dulging oth­ers’ in­ter­est in her age while pro­mot­ing Golden. In fact the name pre-empts it. “I did say early on, I like Golden [as a ti­tle]. Golden came from just a sen­tence that I wanted to put in some­where, and it mor­phed a bit. At first I wanted to say I’m not young, I’m not old, I’m golden. Yes I’m older than I was be­fore, but I’m younger than I will be. Golden is sunny,

She’s sold 80 mil­lion records, her gold hot pants are in a mu­seum, she’s part of our cul­tural his­tory, she’s Kylie.

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