PROLOGUE: COME INTO MY WORLD
From Ramsey Street to reigning pop queen, Kylie Ann Minogue proves that talent comes in tiny packages: "I started in TV when I was nine … I was only a little smaller than I am now!"
Now known simply by her first name, the pint-sized Australian has sold well over 30 million records. Her recent number one single, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head', was her 35th Top 20 hit. At the tender age of 34, the multi-millionairess is an icon worshipped by men and women alike, and feels "kind of humbled" by the generation of British teenagers called Kylie. She's so famous, she's virtually a trademark.
"I guess I'm attainable," says the former Neighbours star when quizzed on her enduring popularity. "I think it goes way back. The way the public perceive me isn't about today, it's about 16 years' worth of me. I started out as the girl-next-door and people can still see that.
"They've grown up with me and have seen me make a fool of myself; have many less-than-attractive moments style-wise, and generally gone through ups and downs in my career and relationships. People have seen that I'm fallible; that I'm not untouchable like the perfect supermodels in magazines. I think they understand that if I were to pop round to their place in my tracksuit for a glass of wine, we'd get on."
Basking in the aftermath of a sold-out tour promoting Fever, her latest chart-topping album, how does the star once nicknamed 'The Singing Budgie' by her critics justify her success?
"A lot of my career has been a happy accident. Something my dad said to me sticks because it's the story of my life: I skip steps one to eight and just do nine and 10, but miraculously, I get away with it." If her recent comeback is anything to go by, Kylie will "get away with it" for many years to come.