Happy Birthday Kylie: 40 milestones to mark 40 years (+photos)

By Megan Gibb

With a career spanning more than two decades, Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue has had her fair share of memorable moments. We mark 40 of them here:

KYLIE'S MILESTONES

* Kylie got her career start on Australian TV shows The Sullivans and The Henderson Kids and gave her first singing performance on Young Talent Time. While not of ground-breaking nature, Kyles had to start somewhere, and we're glad she did.

* When Kylie arrived on Ramsay St in 1986 as tomboy mechanic Charlene she became part of one of the greatest love stories on the boob tube. Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene's relationship took the soap's popularity to new heights, and ensured Neighbours trading cards became the new currency in the classroom.

* Locomotion, her first hit, topped the charts in Australia and introduced her to British producers, Stock, Aitken and Waterman took Kylie to the next level of pop stardom.

* Her cheesy duet with Jason Donovan, titled Especially for You was a major success in the United Kingdom in early 1989. Especially for You was also the first Kylie Minogue single to sell over 1 million copies in the UK.

* The gold hotpants. We don't really need to say any more, but we will. The miniscule lame shorts she wore in her Spinning Around video have gone down in music history, much like Jacko's glove and Lennon's glasses.

* I should Be So Lucky - number two in a long stream of hits - set Kylie up for her career in incredibly-catchy-but-incredibly-annoying singles. (see: Can't Get You Outta My Head)

* Where there are highs, there are also lows. The mid 90's could be described as a 'lull' in her career. Albums included Lets Get To It, Kylie Minogue and Impossible Princess.

* A milestone with arguably the most impact was the moment Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She postponed her Showgirl tour and went into hiding in France for treatment. The media reacted with shock - in the UK tabloid The Sun devoted 7 pages to the news.

* Portraying a murder victim in a haunting duet with Nick Cave (Where the Wild Roses Grow) upped Kylie's cool factor.

* We think the fact that she has the ability to laugh, along with us, at her young self in films like The Delinquents, and Street Fighter, deserves recognition.

* Another notable duet with man of the moment Robbie Williams on 2000 single Kids again increased her relevance in the new millennium.

* Nominated for ten Brit awards over the years, she's walked away three so far.

* While we don't claim that getting your bum felt up by pop hottie Justin Timberlake is a milestone, its definitely worth mentioning that Kyles gave an epic performance with JT at the 2003 Brit Awards. Their performance was as noteworthy for cheeky Justin copping a feel as it was their sparkling duet on Blondie hit Rapture.

* In May 1990, 22-year-old Minogue performed her band's arrangement of The Beatles's Help! before a crowd of 25,000 at the John Lennon: The Tribute Concert in Liverpool.

* Detractors calling her a 'singing budgie' early in her career may have given her the drive to prove herself which has ensured her longevity.

* Budgie she may have been branded, but Kylie looked more like a bird of paradise when she performed at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia.

* Kylie was awarded an OBE by the Queen in her 'adopted country' in the 2008 new years honours.

* This year she also received the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Letters - Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's highest cultural awards.

* While some say Kylie has never been lucky in love, we think hooking up with Michael Hutchence in 1990 was pretty lucky. Hutchence, with all his sex appeal, helped to transform her image from girl-next-door (a hang-over of her soap opera Neighbours fame), into a sexy, edgy dance-oriented pop diva. He famously said that his favourite hobby was 'corrupting Kylie'.

* While her recent relationship with French actor Olivier Martinez may have ended (reportedly because he cheated), Kylie's not one to look back in anger, saying Martinez was her 'rock' while she was fighting cancer, and for that she will always be grateful.

* The words 'sexy' and Kylie go hand in hand. Remember her appearance in an ad for naughty lingerie company Agent Provocateur that saw her gyrating atop a mechanical bull? No? Thank goodness for YouTube!

* Queen of pop Madonna loves Kylie too. She famously wore a t-shirt bearing Kylie's face during a performance at the 2000 European MTV awards.

* The multi talented singer made a delightful cameo as Absinthe, the green fairy, in the Baz Luhrmann's film Moulin Rouge.

* Another acting gig saw her as a waitress on the Titanic in a Dr Who Christmas special.

* 'Darling', a fragrance designed by Kylie also went on sale in 2006. The perfume is said to be a 'chypre floriental as multi-faceted as Kylie herself. A sensual, floral bouquet with a heady, sparkling yet sweet."

* 2001 single Can't Get You Out Of My Head went to No.1 in 20 countries, a turning point in her career. It even did well in the US, a country she has never managed to truly conquer.

* While not necessarily known for her acting skills we think she was genius as Kim's spoilt daughter, an adult Eponee-Rae in Australian comedy Kath & Kim.

* Her style is usually spot on - music videos, especially those for Slow, Red Blooded Woman and Can't Get You out of My Head look like Vogue photo shoots come to life. Designer John Galliano once described her as 'a blend of Lolita and Barbarella'.

* Elle Magazine gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 in its annual style awards.

* In 1998, Minogue appeared as an underwear model for fashion retailer H&M. More recently, she inspired a limited edition beachwear range for the company.

* She launched own lingerie brand 'Love Kylie' in Australia in 2003.

* White Diamond, a film documentary released last year, chronicled Kylie's battle with cancer return to the world stage with her 2006 Showgirl - The Homecoming tour.

* Her tenth studio album X, released in 2007, is an impressive milestone, given the trials of the preceding few years. The album did fairly well in Australia and Europe, but tanked on launch in the US in April this year, only making it to #139 on the charts.

* Tackling yet another type of challenge Kylie released a children's book, The Showgirl Princess in 2006. The book is aimed at girls aged six and upwards and is based on Minogue's life.

* One of four wax mannequins of her (beaten in number only by the Queen) that have graced Madame Tussaud's in London featured her on all fours in those hot pants, just like in the video. A more recent version was the first to have its own smell, that of her perfume ' Darling'.

* Kylie: The Exhibition, toured four Australian cities in 2005 and was seen by half a million people. The bulk of the exhibition was made up of costumes, from Charlene's overalls to the designer outfits Kylie has worn on stage.

* Her hairstyles deserve a list of milestones of their own - blonde, redhead, short, spiral-permed, poker-straight - Kylie has worn them all.

* Her stage costumes too, deserve a mention. If you've seen the plumed, Vegas-style headdress she wore on her Showgirl - The Homecoming Tour you'll agree she deserves a medal - for bravery.

* After over 20 years in the biz, Kylie's still as relevant as ever. Those in Britain certainly think so, she picked up International Female Solo Artist award at the Brit Awards in February this year.

* Did we mention all the eight shows of her X tour scheduled for the UK sold out in just 30 minutes?

* Finally - and possibly most significantly - Kylie has sold in excess of 60 million albums around the world. Not to be frowned at.

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