Kylie Minogue sounds tired. She’s just finished the European leg of her Golden tour – a whopping 26 shows in less than four months. She’s not afraid to admit that this run nearly got the best of her, thanks to a few bouts of flu and even a security threat at her concert in Cologne, Germany, in November, which thankfully passed without incident. “I’ll be forever grateful for 2018, but it has been a struggle as well,” says the 50-year-old pop princess from her London home. “My struggle has been keeping up the pace. I’ve been under the weather a bit and I had to cancel a couple of gigs. With my show in Hamburg [on November 24], people said, ‘Oh you just crawled over the finish line at the end.’ I said, ‘I was crawling to get over [it] from the very beginning.’”
But don’t be fooled. By the next breath, Kylie is insisting that she wouldn’t have changed a thing. “Imagine if I hadn’t done this album?” she asks rhetorically. “How much would I not have experienced and ... learned? Making this album and doing these shows has been a revelation for me,” the chart-topper casually explains.
She should be so lucky? Turns out she is. Anyone who has followed Kylie’s professional and personal life (haven’t we all) since she became a household name playing Charlene Robinson on Neighbours at just 17 years of age, knows she’s never been one to let anything set her back for long.
By her own admission, the Golden album – timed to mark her 50th birthday last May and featuring Kylie in her latest incarnation as country music babe – is at least in part a testament to this endurance. She admits she was in a pretty low place when she began recording it in early 2017, having just broken up with her ancé, actor Joshua Sasse, who was 19 years her junior. “The people I was working with could see that I was a bit fragile,” she says. “I wanted to make it personal and get some things off my chest.”
Even thousands of kilometres away the elation in her voice is clear when she’s asked about her new partner, 44-year-old Paul Solomons, the creative director of British GQ magazine. “I ... I don’t even have the words,” she breathes. “He’s amazing.” The couple began dating in early 2018, and first met on a photo shoot in 2004. She says finding someone to share her life with again has gone a long way to help her through some of the harder aspects of the past year.
Her sense of contentment is palpable, and it’s clear that turning 50 has heralded a new era for the much-loved singer. “I feel comfortable with who I am,” she says. “And to have someone to share with and help you when it’s not going right and times are tough ... It’s so precious.”
Read more in the March issue of marie claire, out now.