[sister Dannii] and I turned out the way we did… Well, Mum was a ballerina, she’s got that performance side in her somewhere. But their avoiding of the spotlight does take some effort.”
With Dannii juggling music and TV careers, brother Brendan (who has two children) has taken more of a role in the business side of his sisters’ careers. The Minogues are known as one of the most closely knit families in Australian entertainment. “I have known those girls all their lives,” family friend Tina Arena tells Stellar. “We’ve all been famous, really, since we were kids. They’ve got a very good relationship with their family and their craft. You need good support around you.”
Minogue’s former teenage boyfriend Donovan recently joined her at Hyde Park in London for a televised concert where they performed their million-selling duet ‘Especially For You’, which turns 30 this month and was recorded when they were still keeping their relationship a secret. The low-maintenance Donovan, who still regularly tours the UK as well as doing radio work, cycled to the concert. “I had this chin-stroking moment,” Minogue recalls. “Jason is coming, would he want to sing ‘Especially For You’? We were doing it in the show, anyway; we had a gospel choir singing it. When he arrived on his bike, I asked him to sing with me and told him there was zero pressure if he didn’t want to. He was such a good sport. We had a quick warm up backstage and people were creeping into the room to have a listen. If we’d arranged it all beforehand, it wouldn’t have been that genuine. It blew people’s minds.”
Donovan, who also turned 50 this year, made headlines recently for reported bawdy comments about Minogue in his latest UK tour. “Jason did text me about that,” she says. “I didn’t even hear anything about it until he mentioned it. I just said, ‘Oh god, don’t worry.’ You have to appreciate someone’s humour.”
While Minogue tours Golden, she is also still working on a musical that would be based on her career and use her songs. “Everyone said, ‘It takes a long time to make a musical,’ and true enough, it’s taking a long time,” she says. “There’s been quite a bit of work, up to a table read where you figure out what’s right and what’s not right, but it’s still at the drawing-board stage.”
In the meantime, the tour will reach Australia next year, and she is planning to play a mix of indoor and outdoor shows for the first time as part of her plan to try new venues. “To use the football analogy, I can honestly say I’ve never toured where I’ve left nothing on the pitch like I have on this tour. I really enjoy every moment of this show. I’ve found myself doing things I’ve never done before, which happened really organically.
“Vocally it’s been lots of fun.through making the album I’ve discovered new areas of my voice and new ways of delivery. I guess it’s maturing into myself, too. It feels good. It’s a big show. And a big sing. I’ve thrown everything at it and I love it.”