Kylie Minogue, Vegas’ Newest Headliner, Celebrates Her “Present Era” and Ponders a World Tour

What a ride the past nine months have been for Kylie Minogue. It all began on May 18, 2023, when the Diva From Down Under broke the internet with “Padam Padam” (named for the sound a heartbeat makes). That instant classic brought Minogue, 55, her second Grammy on Feb. 4 for best pop dance recording, a new category. In between, Minogue released her 16th studio album, the acclaimed Tension, and she christened the Venetian’s intimate nightclub Voltaire (imagine a mashup of Studio 54 and the Fortress of Solitude) in a hot-ticket Las Vegas residency, which runs through early May. Minogue checked in with THR to reveal how she manages to keep all those disco balls in the air.

I caught your Las Vegas show, and I must say — you leave it all out there on that stage.

I really do. I don’t think I’ve ever put this much energy into a show, which seems weird because Voltaire is a small space, so you might think, “This is going to be easier.” But it isn’t — because I’m in the eye of the storm and there’s nowhere to hide. The quick changes are at the speed of light.

The look of Voltaire matches your dreamy disco aesthetic. Were you involved in its conception?

When Derek [McLane, the space’s architect] showed me his plans on paper, I just thought, “This has got some of my DNA in it.” When it was finished, literally right before opening night, I sat in different parts of the venue and thought, “Can this be real?”

One of my favorite moments from the show was your rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” which turns into a massive love-in.

I know! Everyone’s got tears in their eyes, they’re swaying, they’re hugging. There’s a lot of human contact — a lot more than any other touring show I’ve done. It’s like the most glamorous house party you’ve ever been to.

Do you plan on extending the run past May?

That’s a good question. I want to do a world tour. It’s been a little while since I did a big show. [And]I could 100 percent see myself going back to Voltaire. It does feel like a home; part of me is there.

What is the secret to always staying ahead of pop music trends?

I’m naturally very malleable and chameleonlike. I adore change. I’m so thankful to be celebrated now because there have definitely been times in my career where I’ve had to try to explain it or justify it. It’s being adaptable. I can play different characters, but they’re just different facets of me.

“Padam Padam” was a different kind of hit for you. Is it your biggest hit because of the viral aspect?

Possibly. It’s very hard to make the calculation. There were songs early in my career that seemed to [explode] like “Locomotion” or “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” If social media had been around then, would they have been the biggest songs? I don’t know. But it’s certainly stand-alone in that it’s the first song I’ve had with that viral impact. It took all of us by surprise.

The Tension album cover — which features you holding a giant diamond — is all over Las Vegas. What’s the story behind it?

The story is that Haris Nukem took the photographs [and created] all of the artwork for the album. His style is hyper-real. He presented a bunch of different sketches on his iPad. I remember him saying, “I don’t know, I just had this vision of you holding a diamond.” It was really pointy and painful. Haris got a bit of sandpaper and took it away, filed the point down, then brought it back. I was like, “OK. I can do this now.”

The word “eras” is thrown around a lot these days. How would you describe your current era?

It’s too lazy to say it’s my Tension Era, but I think Tension embodies it, and I just don’t have another nifty word for it. Maybe I would say this is my Present Era. I’m very present. I’m very aware that this is a great moment, even though I’m as busy as I’ve ever been. You’ve just got to keep paddling. If you ever want to catch a wave, you’ve got to paddle.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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