Pop diva Kylie Minogue, one of Australia’s most successful music exports, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has postponed her Australian and Asian tour, her management said on Tuesday.
Minogue, 36, rose from from humble beginings as a child actress on the television soap “Neighbours” to international stardom as one of the world’s top pop singers and, most recently, as a gay icon.
The Frontier Touring Co. said she was diagnosed with “early breast cancer” while visiting family in the southern city of Melbourne this week.
Australian concert promoter and long-time friend Michael Gudinski said Minogue would immediately undergo treatment.
“It was diagnosed this morning. She is a pretty fit, strong girl. I’m hoping and praying because the doctor found it so early that everything will be OK,” he told reporters.
“Our thoughts, and I’m sure all the legions of Kylie’s fans, will be with her all the way,” he said.
She was due to start her Australian concerts on Thursday before setting out on an Asia tour, and said she was sorry to disappoint her fans.
“Nevertheless hopefully all will work out fine and I’ll be back with you all again soon,” Minogue said in a statement.
Minogue, who is signed to music company EMI Group Plc, was worth about A$60 million (US$46 million), according to a 2004 list of rich young Australians compiled by BRW magazine.
The diminutive Minogue has become a music icon around the world through her ability to continually update her image from the girl next door in the 1980s to today’s sexy, but innocent, pop princess.
Her acting career took off in 1986 as the teenage character called “Charlene” in the Australian soap “Neighbours” which allowed her to launch a singing career.
She released a remake of “Locomotion” in Britain in 1988 and her second single, “I Should Be So Lucky,” soared to No. 1 in the British pop charts and stayed there for five weeks.
Over the years her career has hit rocky patches but each time Minogue, renowned for her hardwork and drive, has bounced back.
She has had a series of high profile relationships, at one stage dating Australian rock singer Michael Hutchence, who was found hanged in a Sydney hotel in 1997.
September 2001 saw the Kylie phenomenon reach fever peak with the release of her global hit “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” from the multi-platinum selling album “Fever.”
In 2002, one of Minogue’s bras sold for $6,880 in London at an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Minogue has also worked to raise awareness of prostate cancer, after her father was diagnosed with it.