Our very own golden-short-clad gal, Kylie Minogue, speaking to Billboard ahead of her headline spot at NYC Pride, has reminisced about the first time she realised she had become a gay icon – when she unexpectedly ended up having a spin around at a Kylie-themed party at a gay bar.
She said “it happened without [her] knowing it“, pointing to the night out in the late ’80s on Sydney‘s Oxford Street as the exact moment she became aware of her devoted camp fanbase. By 1988, Charlene on Neighbours was a Gold Logie winner, but not yet an impossible princess with a fever. That year she released her debut album, Kylie, featuring such classics as ‘The Loco-Motion‘ and ‘I Should Be So Lucky‘. She followed it up with 1989’s Love Yourself.
Anyway, it’s the late ’80s, and the story goes that she was in her car with her manager and a couple of other people, riding by the infamous Albury Hotel, which at the time, and through to its closure in 2000, was ‘Sydney’s drag show central’, Minogue herself describing the venue as “the gay bar in the gay area in Sydney“. And then someone pointed out that: “There’s Kylie night at the Albury tonight.“
How’s about Kylie tells us the rest?
And I was like ‘What?!’ I’d never heard of a ‘Kylie Night’, but I said ‘We should go! We should go!’ At the time, I’d done an ad for Coca-Cola, and someone said, ‘Ohhh I think someone has gone as a Coke can. There weren’t that many versions of me then, I’m talking 1989 or ’90. Now there’s tons of them – choose a look. But I’m the least Kylie person when I’m at any of those nights. I looked like they should not have let me in.
Her cache among the LGBTIQ+ community has since then only gone from strength to strength – as has the choice of lewks for someone wanting to go to one of the many ‘Kylie Nights’ around the globe.
She describes the moment of heading into the bar as “incredible“: “That’s the first moment I can remember where it was a thing, and it’s been a thing ever since.”
What’s Kylie been up to lately? She turned 50 on May 28; she released her 14th studio album, Golden, in April; and earlier this month, she made a surprise appearance to play Where The Wild Roses Grow at Nick Cave‘s All Points East Presents show in London. Oh and she met Prince Willy at a charity event at Buckingham Palace for Royal Marsden Hospital, a specialist cancer treatment hospital in London.
That’s our Kylie, killin’ it every day.
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Image: Getty Images / Tibrina Hobson