Breast cancer sidelined her for two years, but pop singer Kylie Minogue is back with a vengeance with a new album, an upcoming tour and the belief that after 20 years at the top, she isn't finished yet.
Minogue, who transformed herself from a 1980s soap opera actress to one of the biggest-selling female stars and sex symbols in Europe and in her native Australia, said her well-publicized cancer battle in 2005 forced her to evaluate her life.
"You do tend to hear more about people who have said, 'That's it. I'm going to go in a completely different direction.' And I think I would have had a valid excuse.
"But no, not me. I'm not finished. I get joy out of what I do. I'm ready to go on," Minogue, 39, told Reuters in an interview.
Since recovering from surgery and chemotherapy in 2005, the petite blonde has written a children's book, launched a perfume and a London museum fashion exhibit, been honored with an Order of the British Empire by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and released her 10th studio album, "X," in Europe in November.
Not that "cancer" is a word you hear Minogue using often. In fact, she'd rather not talk about her illness at all.
"I don't have a nice little phrase to summarize what that meant, or what it did, or how I've changed. I don't want to talk about it too much.
"I have some understanding of what other people might go through, but I don't have the answers. I am sure the day will come where I will be more forward about it. If I was one-on-one with a patient, I would share everything," she said.
'TWO HOURS OF ENERGY'
The performer of dance hits like "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Spinning Around" said there are three very personal songs on the "X" album, which is due to be released in the United States in March.
But some reviewers have expressed surprise that "X" is more an album of classic Kylie dance and pop numbers than a reflection on the tumultuous last three years, during which Minogue also split with her long-term boyfriend, French actor Olivier Martinez.
The announcement of Minogue's European tour, set to begin in May in Paris, laid to rest persistent media speculation about her health.
She dismissed the notion that the tour would be physically less demanding than her extravagant, abandoned 2005 "Showgirl" world tour.
"You don't feel the pain when you are performing, when your adrenaline is going. It will be two hours of energy," she said.
"The bulk of the show is going to be more streamlined, but I'm sure there will be a moment when the showgirl in me will appear."
Like many pop stars who are huge in Britain and Europe, Minogue has not made the transition to mass-market fame in the United States. But even that has its blessings.
"It's a slightly weird situation for me because I can still walk the streets here (in Los Angeles) and no one will recognize me. I love it," she said.
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