Kylie Minogue: 50 fun facts
Kylie Minogue: 50 fun facts
The NFSA published a Kylie Minogue online collection to coincide with the release of Kylie's 15th studio album Disco, in 2020. Her 16th album, Tension, was released on 22 September 2023.
Whether you're a big Kylie fan or new to her work, why not test your Kylie knowledge with these 50 fun facts...
WARNING: this article contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Kylie is the first female artist to have number one albums in the UK across five decades.
- The highest selling Australian-born solo artist of all time, she has sold over 80 million records worldwide.
- Four billion people watched her performance at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
- Multilingual Minogue - she has recorded songs in Spanish, Italian, French, Mandarin, Japanese and German.
- A fashion icon, her tour costumes have featured in exhibitions around the world, including London's V&A Museum.
- In 2008 she earned $4 million for a one-night performance at the opening of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.
- She has helped save countless lives through breast cancer awareness, receiving an honourary Doctorate of Health Science from Anglia Ruskin University for her work in awareness raising. At the time of her diagnosis mammograms performed in Australia increased by 40 per cent.
- Antarctica is the only continent where she hasn’t performed! She’s had concerts in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Oceania.
- Only Queen Elizabeth II has had more wax figures at Madame Tussauds in London.
- Her cover of ‘Locomotion’ was the highest selling single of the 1980s in Australia:
Global gay icon
- A collective noun for Sydney gay men is known as a Minogue of gays.
- Kylie has been a part of many successful product endorsements from Coca-Cola to her own wine, water, fragrances, fashion, spectacles, books and homewares.
- She's a fan of collaboration. She has performed duets with Bono, Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams, Enrique Iglesias, Kermit the Frog, James Corden, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder, The Wiggles, Sonu Nigam & Suzanne, Jimmy Little, Jack Savoretti, Tove Lo, Jenifer, TOWA TEI, Sigala, Ben Lee, Taio Cruz and Travie McCoy, her sister Dannii, Hurts, Laura Pausini, Shaggy, Garibay, Sam Sparro, Keith Washington, NERVO, Jake Shears, Aleks Syntek, Flight Facilities, Gente De Zona, Christophe Willem, Jolin Tsai, múm, Frank Sinatra and of course Jason Donovan.
- Prince and Kylie collaborated on a song in the 1990s but it was never recorded.
- Those gold shorts featured in ‘Spinning Around’ were purchased from a thrift shop and were a last minute addition to the music video.
- Her handprints feature on Wembley Arena's Square of Fame, and statues of her grace Melbourne Docklands and Sydney Olympic Park.
- A record holder, she appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive decades with top five albums for a female artist in the UK.
- The INXS song ‘Suicide Blonde’ was inspired by a comment she made to her then-boyfriend Michael Hutchence about going ‘suicide blonde’ for her film role in The Delinquents (1989).
- Her singing career kicked off (pun intended) on 11 July 1986 at a Fitzroy Football Club benefit concert with other Neighbours cast members. She performed ‘I Got You Babe’ with actor John Waters, and ‘The Locomotion’ as an encore. Mushroom Records signed her in 1987.
- When her Neighbours character Charlene wed Scott (Jason Donovan) two million Aussies and almost 20 million viewers in Britain tuned in. The episode itself is bonafide cultural phenomenon, with an Australian band called Scott and Charlene’s Wedding.
Jason and Kylie were siblings!
- Jason and Kylie starred as brother and sister in Skyways in 1979 when they were 11 years old.
- Singer, small screen star and silver screen siren. She was the first person to win four Logie Awards in one year: Most Popular Actress (Silver Logie), Most Popular Personality on Australian Television (Gold Logie), Most Popular Personality on Victorian Television and Most Popular Music Video.
- Her ground-breaking Anti Tour wowed fans across small venues in England and Australia in 2012. She only performed B-sides, demos and rare tracks, with no dancers or lights.
- Hong Kong nightclub Canton was the venue of her first live concert performance in 1988.
- Award winner extraordinare: she has won 14 ARIAs, a Grammy, three BRIT Awards, six Logie Awards, six Mo Awards and two Helpmanns.
- Grand Theft Auto 5 features ‘Kids’, her duet with Robbie Williams.
- 'Better the Devil You Know', or 'BTDYK’ as it’s known by hardcore Kyliephiles, is credited with reinventing Kylie’s image from girl-next-door to sex symbol. In a sign of devotion, London’s G-A-Y club plays it every Saturday night at 12:30 am.
- ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ is her most successful single to date. It went to number 1 in over 40 countries and sold 5 million copies.
- She performed on a float in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010 in New York City on the back of a giant duck.
- She was a child star. Aged eight, she played Carla for eight episodes of Australian drama The Sullivans. Her sister Dannii also appeared as Carla in later episodes.
- Her Glastonbury Legends performance in 2019 was the festival’s most watched to date.
- Sensational singles - collectively, her singles have spent over 300 weeks in the UK Top 40 charts.
- Ratings winner. The 2007 Christmas special episode of Doctor Who where she appeared as Astrid Peth was watched by 13.31 million viewers. This was the show's highest viewing figure since 1979.
- The name Kylie is derived from the word kiley in the Noongar Aboriginal language - a flat, curved piece of wood, similar to a boomerang, used for hunting.
- She features on a postage stamp. Along with John Farnham, INXS, AC/DC and Olivia Newton-John she was honoured with her own commemorative stamp in 2013.
- Kylie often struggles to find shoes to fit her tiny size 4 feet (that’s UK size 2 or EU size 35). She refers to her height as ‘5 foot and a whisper’.
- She calls her fans ‘Lovers’.
- Disco (2020) was recorded in her living room - dubbed the 'Infinite Disco' - during the COVID-19 quarantine period using an old microphone and GarageBand.
- She doesn't take herself too seriously, relishing comedy roles in The Vicar of Dibley,The Kylie Show, The Comedy Company and NBC's Funny or Die, where she played She-Ra.
- Her UK fans growled suspiciously at Nick Cave when the two first performed their duet ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ on Top of the Pops in 1995, showing how incongruous their pairing seemed at the time.
- An Officer of the Order of Australia, she is also an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and has an Order of Arts and Letters from France.
- She loves playing Scrabble.
- There’s a pop-up bar called Bar Kylie which exclusively plays her tunes.
- The jazz singer. She performed her first and only jazz set at Café de Flore in Paris in 2003. The set list included ‘Big Spender’, ‘Peel Me a Grape’, ‘Fever’ and ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’.
- She gained cult status for her spoken word performance of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ at The Poetry Olympics at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996.
- U2, Scissor Sisters, Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Peking Duk, Tricky, Steps and Pet Shop Boys have all covered Kylie tracks.
- According to Pete Waterman of Stock Aitken Waterman, they created the record company PWL because they saw what a big hit 'I Should Be So Lucky' was going to be and they didn't want to give it to anyone else.
- Her numerous film roles run the gamut from action in Street Fighter (1994) to French fantasy drama Holy Motors (2012), a comic turn in Swinging Safari (2018) and Bollywood musical Blue (2009).
- Judge Kylie: She's been a guest judge on Project Runway All Stars and The X Factor UK, as well as appearing on The Voice UK, The Voice Australia, The X Factor Australia, The X Factor Ukraine and the US's Dancing with the Stars.
- Her character on the Australian comedy series Kath and Kim was named Epponnee-Raelene Charlene Kathleen Darleen Craig.
This article was first published in 2020. The text was updated in 2023.
Main image: © Darenote Ltd. Photographer: Ken McKay.