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Pop icon's shock cancer diagnosis at 36 as they 'felt like helpless child'

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When Kylie Minogue lit up the Pyramid Stage at 2019’s Glastonbury Festival, neither she, nor the thousands of fans singing along to every word of the 18 hits she performed, could have been happier.

Her long-awaited appearance, with surprise cameos from Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Aussie rock legend Nick Cave, came a full 14 years after she was first due to perform.

And the wait had definitely been worth it. In 2005, just six weeks before she was set to headline that year’s Glastonbury Festival, her doctors delivered some devastating news: Kylie had breast cancer.The diagnosis hit fans hard, not least because Kylie had always seemed so invincible. “There can be a sense that you take those people for granted, that they’ll always be there to bring you this joy, and you can forget that they’re real people,” said Michael Cragg, author of pop biography Reach For The Stars. “And then something like that is such a horrible reminder that she obviously is a human being and that could have been taken away.” Kylie’s friend, singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti, recalled how the news “rattled the universe”. “There’s an exuberance to Kylie – she shines a light,” he said. “So when this happened… you just don’t want to see anybody going through this.” Kylie was 36 when she first learned she was unwell, just days before the Australian leg of her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour was due to start in Sydney. “The moment my doctor told me, I went silent,” the star said.

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