Kylie Minogue: Crazy for Kylie!
By Noah Michelson
Still, unlike other female pop stars, Minogue has never felt the need to pander to gay fans -- or to shock and titillate straight ones -- by flirting with bisexuality. In January, after a Mexican magazine published a story claiming Minogue had admitted to liking women, she responded via Twitter, 'OMG such a load of hype and nonsense ... misquotes and an interview that never HAPPENED!!! Grrrrr!!!' Asked to clarify, Minogue says, 'I didn't speak with a Mexican magazine. They took a bunch of random quotes -- some of which sounded familiar and some they'd taken from somewhere that has nothing to do with me. So far my sexuality has been with men, but I stand by the video for 'All the Lovers' -- if it's love, it's good.'
Legendarily polite about her competitors (she calls Madonna, the woman to whom she has drawn the most comparisons, 'inspiring' and Lady Gaga 'brilliant'), Minogue doesn't have much to say about their supposed penchants for same-sex dalliances. 'I suppose it's pretty trendy. I don't even have a tattoo. I'm so untrendy,' she says, adding, perhaps metaphorically, 'I think maybe I should have one -- I'd secretly like to have a galaxy somewhere.'
Whether or not that galaxy will end up including the United States remains to be seen. Aphrodite is the singer's most cohesive and arguably best work to date, but with Americans still heavily favoring hip-hop and electro-pop, Minogue's brand of pure, heady, and, yes, gay pop might fall on deaf -- or otherwise occupied -- ears. Waterman, the man who helped launch her career all those years ago, suggests no matter how good an album is or how heavily it's promoted there are still too many factors to predict its success. 'You can sit down and plan,' he says, 'but the truth is it might be released on the wrong Tuesday, or the temperature might be too cold for people to come out to your gig, or you may turn up late because of some unperceived circumstances, and suddenly people think you're arrogant and it's over just like that.'
Minogue herself resents the notion that her career is any less successful because she hasn't yet conquered the U.S. 'It's frustrating when people say 'This is finally her push for America' -- it's not like that. It's not centered around whether or not I make it in America, and I think that was poetically proven last year [with the For You, For Me tour],' she says. Shears thinks that at this point in her career, Minogue's success on the charts is the last thing on her mind. 'I think when she came and played [New York City's] Hammerstein Ballroom last fall, it proved that there is a real hunger for her on stage here,' he says. 'She just wants to connect with the people and whether that fan base remains the capacity of the Hammerstein Ballroom or it becomes the entire United States, it doesn't really matter to her.'
Minogue would be lying if she said she didn't care how the United States responds to Aphrodite, but she insists it all comes down to her fans. 'It cuts like a knife if I read a bad review,' she says, stabbing at her chest. 'But in the end, how the album is received by the press won't make any difference to me -- I'd still come back. A few thousand people in a room sharing two or three hours together -- when all the other stuff gets too complex to understand, that's a really good place to bring it back to.'
To see our exclusive photo slide show of Kylie, click here.