This story begins in 1990, at a club called Heaven. I was dancing the night away, when a video began playing on the screens next to the dance floor. A stunning woman was singing a Brit-pop song about stepping back in time. I stopped dancing, because I had to know who this singer was. I walked—no, ran—to the DJ and asked him who she was.
He said, “The song is ‘Step Back in Time’ by Kylie.”
"Kylie who?" I asked.
The DJ looked at me like I had just woken up from a coma.
"Minogue," he said.
And thus began my love for Kylie. It was "Love at First Sight." I went to Record Rack, the local import store, and bought everything she had released up until then.
What is it about a Kylie concert that makes it an event? Kylie has at least as much fun at her shows as her audience, and she interacts with them. She requests that we do Mexican waves for her after, asking to have the lights turned on so that she can see her audience.
Her productions are amazing. Each time I see her on tour I wonder how she could possibly top her last one, and she never disappoints. Whether she makes her grand entrance (and they are always grand) in a Metropolis robot costume (for the KylieFever2002 tour), sings while doing the splits (Kylie "Showgirl" tour), or descends on a giant skull (KYLIEX2008 and Kylie For You, For Me tours), she always puts on a fantastic show … and it’s really obvious she loves performing, because she sings her concerts live.
Kylie’s zest for life was again obvious in the grace with which she handled her cancer diagnosis treatment. Her public discussion of her experiences gave permission to her fans and countless other women to talk openly about breast cancer. Five years after her diagnosis, she announced that she was cancer-free.
Kylie has also survived the fickle nature of the music industry. In the late '90s, the industry nearly wrote her off. She had just released her album Impossible Princess—ironically, a fanbase favorite. Kylie wrote and co-produced most of the songs herself. Unfortunately, the album was released the same week Princess Diana died in the car accident in Paris. The album was pulled and retitled Kylie Minogue.
The change hurt Kylie's career drastically. Her record label dropped her. No one would sign her. The Pet Shop Boys persuaded Parlophone to allow them to record a duet with her. "In Denial" was a massive hit and Parlophone offered Kylie a record deal. She released her first single "Spinning Around," which stayed on top of the charts for four weeks. With the release of her album Light Years, Kylie was back on her game. Not one track is filler. The album is pop perfection, boasting such classics as "On a Night like This," and the gay anthem "Your Disco Needs You."
Kylie’s On a Night Like This tour was a huge success—all tour dates sold out. She followed up with Fever, an album containing her biggest single yet: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head." The single remained on top of the charts in over 40 countries for weeks.
The tour to support the album, KylieFever2002, was the first one I attended. I have since traveled to the UK twice to see her, once in 2005 for Kylie Showgirl and again in for KYLIEX2008. I also flew to New York for her Kylie For You, For Me tour in 2009, her first ever tour in America, which immediately sold out.
This year Kylie brings Kylie Aphrodite Live 2011, her most elaborate tour yet, to Houston (Tuesday night, Verizon Wireless Theater.) With the title album, Aphrodite, she has again achieved pure pop perfection, and I am dying to see how she will yet again top her history of stellar grand entrances.
Following her ups and downs, her personal and professional tragedies, her recoveries and triumphs, it’s impossible not to love Kylie. Her love of people and performing is infectious. Her focus on others is obvious not only in her love for her fans but also in her humanitarian work, which she mostly does anonymously.
Call me a Kylie superfan … since 1990 and counting.