Minogue aims to spread the love with "Aphrodite"

Fri Jul 2, 2010 8:26pm EDT
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By Mark Sutherland

LONDON (Billboard) - It was a hot, sweaty Friday night in June when Kylie Minogue arrived at New York's Splash club, the first step on a yearlong journey designed to re-establish her as one of the world's biggest pop-dance superstars.

She'd planned to just introduce her new single, euphoric floor-filler "All the Lovers." Then, she decided to unveil a special megamix of tracks from her 11th studio album, "Aphrodite," due Tuesday (July 6) in the United States on Astralwerks and a day earlier in the United Kingdom on Parlophone.

But ultimately, being Kylie, when she found herself onstage surrounded by a seething, cheering mass of adoring humanity, she just couldn't help herself.

"I'm elevated, I have a microphone, so of course I'm going to sing along," she said with a smile a few days later, still buzzing about the impromptu performance -- a far cry from her usual state-of-the-art arena shows. Sipping tea from a Kylie Minogue cup in manager Terry Blamey's West London office, she added, "Nothing can replace playing live -- not just for me, but for the audience. It's what resonates in that country."

That the country involved was the United States -- as opposed to the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany or Japan -- is significant. Minogue, 42, has long enjoyed a U.S. fan base in gay clubs like Splash, but while the rest of the world has been involved in a decades-long love affair with the diminutive Aussie, the U.S. pop mainstream has settled for a couple of one-night stands.


The first time, in 1988, she was a bubble-haired 20-year-old, all cheeky smiles and gauche dance moves, singing a production-line pop version of Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "The Loco-Motion." Elsewhere in the world, that was enough to catapult her to enduring superstardom. In the United States, not so much.

By the time Minogue managed her second top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with "Can't Get You Out of My Head" 14 years later, she'd been transformed into a sleek, sexed-up electro-pop diva. Not that it did her much good. While she did move 1.1 million U.S. copies of the album "Fever," according to Nielsen SoundScan, it merely marked the start of another eight years in the U.S. pop wilderness.   Continued...