Kylie Minogue says F1 is an exciting soap opera

Pop star Kylie Minogue says she finds the pit stops exciting and cleaner than her dressing room

Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue, one of the top stars at the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix next weekend, has had her fair share of intimate Formula One experiences.

"I have been in the pit stop, which was very exciting. I thought, 'My dressing room is not as clean,'" she says with a laugh.

There was a time she could not understand why F1 fans like her brother, Brendan, would stay up till 3am "watching cars go round and round" halfway across the world, she adds in a telephone interview from London.

All that changed when her sister and fellow singer Dannii dated Canadian Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"Because of the connection, I got to see races. And then I got quite into the competitive nature of it and the soap opera of the different teams, the tactics and all of that, so now I understand it more and yeah, I think it's exciting."

Her concert at the Marina Bay Street Circuit's Padang stage on Sept 16, the first night of Formula One, will be her third in Singapore. Minogue, 48, performed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2011 and 2008.


  • WHERE: Marina Bay Street Circuit

    WHEN: Sept 16 to 18

    ADMISSION: Get tickets from www.singaporegp.sg, via ticketing hotline 6738-6738, or from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

  • Other acts to catch


    Where: Padang Stage When: Sept 17, 10.30pm

    Rock legend Freddie Mercury of Queen may be gone, but filling his shoes is none other than Adam Lambert, the camp, make-up loving, vocal range-stretching American Idol finalist who has gone on to forge a successful solo career.

    Only two members are left from Queen's classic line-up, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. But their back catalogue of crowd-pleasing classics - from the foot-stomping We Will Rock You to the majestic Bohemian Rhapsody - would probably make this a night to remember.

    This is also the 46-year-old band's first gig in Singapore.


    Where: Padang Stage When: Sept 18, 10.30pm

    American band Imagine Dragons rose to the top of the charts worldwide on the back of boisterous, anthemic rock hits such as Radioactive, Demons and I Bet My Life from debut album Night Visions (2012) and follow-up Smoke + Mirrors (2015). The quartet, who last played here a year ago, have several accolades under their belt, including a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance as well as Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards.


    Where: Padang Stage When: Sept 17, 8pm

    British band Bastille became a top draw around the world based on songs from their 2013 debut album Bad Blood, which included synth-driven, arena pop-rock hits such as Pompeii and Things We Lost In The Fire. Expect the band to play fresh tunes from sophomore LP Wild World, released today.


    Where: Padang Stage When: Sept 18, 6.40pm

    A rising act in the American pop scene, Halsey made her name with gritty electropop tunes such as Colors, Ghost and New Americana, as well as top charting collaborations with electronic dance music duo The Chainsmokers and pop prince Justin Bieber. Her debut album last year, Badlands, reached No. 2 on the American charts.


    Where: Sunset Stage When: Sept 17, 6.50pm

    Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, is a breakout star in the home-grown English music scene. The singer-songwriter's moody mix of folk, pop and electronica has led to two recent sold-out solo shows at the Esplanade Concert Hall.


    Where & When: Sunset Stage, Sept 16, 8.50pm and Paddock Club Lifestyle Stage, Sept 18, 10pm

    Home-grown wunderkind Charlie Lim is a singular talent in the indie music scene, an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose soulful music straddles folk, jazz and electronica. His sophomore album last year, Time/Space, stands as one of the finest released in Singapore in recent times. Backing band The Mothership are made up of some of the local scene's most adroit musicians too.


    Where: Sunset Stage When: Sept 16, 7.30pm

    Dubbed the Queen of Pacific Soul, New Zealand singer Aaradhna is one of her country's top performers, with her latest album Brown Girl and singles peaking at the top of the charts. She is also a multi-award- winning artist whose 2012 release, Treble & Reverb, picked up Album of the Year, Best Urban/Hip Hop Album, Best Pacific Music Album and Best Female Solo Artist at the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards.


    Where & When: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Sept 17, 8pm and Village Stage, Sept 18, 6.40pm

    American quintet Pentatonix are the top millennial a cappella group today, with snazzy YouTube music videos that have drawn a whopping 1.6 billion views. The acclaimed outfit have won Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella.

    • For the rest of the acts at the Singapore Grand Prix, go to www.singaporegp.sg/off-track/headliners

Her best memories here are the "really good crowd", nice weather and shopping - she remembers buying a Fendi handbag in Singapore.

Arguably Australia's most prominent music export, the 1.52m-tall singer's enduring entertainment career dates back to the early 1980s and she is well known for her transformation from doe-eyed, girl-nextdoor actress to sultry pop queen and gay icon in the following decades.

In 2011, she was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame, the Arias being the Australian version of the Grammys .

Born to a former ballet dancer mother and accountant father, Minogue started taking on roles on Australian television at the age of 11. She became a household name after she started acting in soap opera Neighbours in 1986, a show which became wildly popular in Australia and Britain.

Her first single, Locomotion, released the following year, became an international smash hit and was Australia's biggest pop hit in the 1980s.

Looking back at those heady days, she says she never thought her career would still be going strong decades later.

"No, I couldn't even fathom 2016," she says. Adopting a mock-dorky voice, she quipped, "What, the millennium?

"I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I've never been a long-term planner. I didn't have much foresight back then, I just knew that this was what I wanted to do and the opportunities presented themselves and I worked hard when they did."

In the 1990s, she ditched her wholesome public image for a more flamboyant, risque one as her music evolved from bubblegum pop hits such as I Should Be So Lucky (1987) to club-oriented dance tracks such as Can't Get You Out Of My Head (2001), one of her biggest songs to date.

She has since released 13 studio albums and, according to the BBC, has sold more than 70 million records worldwide. Her most recent full-length album, Kylie Christmas, was released in November last year, and she recently revealed that she will be releasing a new duet with British singer Robbie Williams in the near future.

Since ending her stint on Neighbours in 1988, she has returned to acting several times over the years. She had a small role in last year's San Andreas, a Hollywood disaster flick starring Canadian-American actor and former wrestling star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"I can't tell you how many people said to me, 'I watched San Andreas and you were in it!' (My role) wasn't that publicised. I'm a big fan of The Rock, as is everyone, so it was fun to have that cameo."

She also stars in upcoming Australian comedy film Flammable Children, opposite another Neighbours alumni, British-Australian actor Guy Pearce.

Minogue's personal life is constant tabloid fodder. Her love life and string of famous exes have been well documented, from fellow Neighbours star and singer Jason Donovan to late INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

In 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy. She has since been given the all-clear.

In February, Minogue, who has never married, announced her engagement to her current beau, 28-year-old British actor Joshua Sasse. The pair met when they acted in the American musical television series Galavant.

Wedding bells might not ring any time soon, though.

"Contrary to a lot of stories that have been printed, we haven't set a date, we haven't set a place and we are enjoying being engaged at the moment. I'd just like to enjoy that a bit longer."

• Kylie Minogue performs at the Padang Stage on Sept 16 at 11.15pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline ''F1 an exciting soap opera''. Subscribe