Kylie Minogue reveals fame took a toll on her mental health: ‘I lived that’

Kylie Minogue says ‘fame took its toll’ on her mental health

Australian megastar and queer anthem queen Kylie Minogue has revealed that living in the glare of the limelight “took a toll” on her mental health.

In an interview with Rolling Stone UK, the “Padam Padam” hitmaker shared that she had to work hard to protect herself and her privacy as she navigated the difficulties of fame. 

Kylie began her career in the 1980s, gaining popularity in Australia and the United Kingdom for her role on the soap opera Neighbours. After leaving the show in 1988, she turned her hand to music with her first hit single “Locomotion”. 

Since then, she has become nothing short of an icon with seven number one albums on the ARIA Albums Chart, the most for any female Australian artist. In the United Kingdom, she holds the record for being the first woman to score a number one on the Official Albums Chart in five consecutive decades.

“Padam Padam”, the first single from her hotly-anticipated upcoming album, became the unrivalled queer anthem of summer, spawning a whole new genre of obsessive memes and making gay hearts all over the internet beat as one.

And with her 16th studio album in a glittering 36-year career – Tension – set to drop on 22 September, the Aussie songstress is showing no signs of slowing down.

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“I feel like a lot of good things are coming together at the same time,” she said, before sharing that “Padam” – which landed Kylie her first spot in the US top 40 in two decades – took on a life of its own.

“Whenever a song is released, in an instant, it’s no longer yours. It takes on its own life,” she explained. “This one grew up real fast. And it’s not slowing down.”

However, having grown up with fame, Kylie has demonstrated that she understands the pitfalls that come with it. 

The 55-year-old pop icon shared that certain aspects of fame haven’t been easy and noted that it’s thankfully easier to have open conversations about struggling with mental health now.

“What I think is great for a lot of people now is that there’s a discussion about mental health and the toll [fame] can take on people, I had that, I lived that,” she said.

Kylie Minogue performs during the Qantas 100th Gala Dinner at Hangar 96 at Sydney’s International Airport on 31 March 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (James D. Morgan/Getty Images for Qantas)

Kylie added that she isn’t only conscious of keeping herself safe and well, but her family, too.

“I was able to manage that myself and with my family and close friends and navigate those waters. It wasn’t a decision [to stay private], it was a reaction to protect myself and to protect my family because they would go through it with you,” the “Can’t Get U Out of My Head” singer continued.

When asked how she keeps away from the spotlight and protects her privacy, Kylie explained that there’s a “common sense” element to her approach, but it does take “some sacrifice”.

“I can really go from doing a full kind of blitz of doing it all and then stop and recalibrate,” she said.

Elsewhere, Kylie was frank about the struggles with self-esteem surrounding her performances, despite achieving legendary status as an artist.

“Every artist that’s ever existed was also riddled with insecurity and self-doubt and all of that stuff,” she told Rolling Stone UK. “But I feel like now it’s okay.”

The “Tension” singer added that her age plays a part in how she’s able to be more circumspect these days.

“As a woman of middle age, there’s been challenges in every part of my career,” she says. “Pop is supposed to look easy. But as we know, it’s a lot of work to [make it] look easy.”