Kylie incognito: except for her American gay following, international superstar Kylie Minogue remains an unknown quantity in the U.S. Will her new album change that? – music
Kylie Minogue says she loves strolling through the streets of New York. It’s one of the last comers of the world where she can wander unaccompanied by security and remain largely undetected by the public. “Except for when I’m in an area like Chelsea,” she says with a wide grin, referring to one of the city’s gay-dominated neighborhoods. “Then it can get a little manic. The boys start, to go a little wild.”
If all goes according to plan, the Australian-born artist will soon be surrendering her stateside anonymity. After racking up enough international hits to make Madonna shudder (13 consecutive top 10 U.K. hits alone), Minogue will spend the first half of 2002 striving to school mainstream listeners on what queer America already knows–she’s a diva to be reckoned with.
Her current collection, the disco-splashed Fever, charged onto the charts in the top 10 or at number 1 all over the world, fueled by the equally successful, instantly infectious single “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” The project shows Minogue effectively taking control of her music, writing and producing much of the material with luminaries like Cathy Dennis, a famed Europop siren in her own right. That’s a huge leap from Minogue’s ’80s-era heyday as a key cog in the Stock Aitken Waterman hit machine, during which she dutifully chirped ditties like “Better the Devil You Know,” “Shocked,” “The Loco-Motion,” and “I Should Be So Lucky” (the latter two were hits in the States), among numerous other frothy anthems that rendered her a turntable staple in gay nightclubs.
“I’ve had my share of growing pains–all of them experienced in front of millions of people,” she says with a self-deprecating chuckle, referring to a post-SAW phase that saw her experiment with alt-rock music (1998’s less-than-successful Impossible Princess). “During that time I’ve fallen flat on my face and I’ve had victories. Now I feel all grown up. With this album I’m on a road feels best to me. I’m in charge of my destiny as an artist. That’s truly exciting and empowering.” Minogue is now fortified for the battle of promoting her first full-length U.S. release in over a decade, coming in 2002–or is she? “I have to confess that not having hits in America hasn’t bothered me,” she says. “Actually, I enjoy having a place in the world to go where most people don’t know me.”
So while the artist says she’d enjoy having a long-overdue pop hit in the United States, if she doesn’t, she’s content to remain a gay-club icon, which will allow her “to go back to shopping for panties and bras in Bloomingdale’s without worrying about looking fat or silly.”
Flick is senior talent editor at Billboard.
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