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Kylie Minogue on success and surviving cancer: "I sing to process everything"

Kylie Minogue on success and surviving cancer
Kylie Minogue on success and surviving cancer 06:27

Thirty-five years into her massive music career, the Australian, Grammy-winning pop star Kylie Minogue has landed in Las Vegas. Her residency at Voltaire Theater, running through May 4 at the Venetian Resort, means 20 performances in a city as glitzy and glittery as her shows, which sparkle mostly because of the high-energy star at the center of it.

One song from her latest album is titled "Vegas High." So, is she now on a Vegas high? "I am absolutely on a Vegas high!" she laughed. "The energy in this show is, it's huge. I've done huge tours, like Aphrodite with precision water fountains, and, I mean, like, insanity, really."

Kylie Minogue performing in her Vegas residency, at Voltaire Theater at the Venetian Resort.    CBS News

She's just five-feet-tall, but big is something of a trademark for Minogue, whether in record sales (80 million worldwide) or hits ("Confide in Me," "Spinning Around," "Can't Get You Out of My Head," "All the Lovers"), with her brand of dance-fueled, cheerful sensuality. 

To watch Kylie Minogue perform "Spinning Around," click on the video player below:

Kylie Minogue - Spinning Around (Official Video) by Kylie Minogue on YouTube

But, in Vegas, she's gone intimate. "And, as it turns out, I think it's perfect," she said.

It's been a good year for the 55-year-old pop-star. Her song "Padam Padam" became a viral sensation, and now is Grammy-nominated.

"'Padam' went beyond my fan base, and that's hugely exciting," she said.

And – importantly, for Mingue – it was a hit in the U.S.

Kylie Minogue - Padam Padam (Official Video) by Kylie Minogue on YouTube

A global superstar, she is less well-known in America. Does that matter to her? "It matters a little, yeah!" she laughed. "It's something that I'm working on. It's part of why I'm here and spending time in your land."

"But you've sold lots of records, you don't need to prove yourself [as a] commercial success."

"I know. How much success is enough success?"

"Sunday Morning" saw that success in London, in the form of fans lined up for a September pop-up event celebrating the release of Minogue's 16th studio album, "Tension."

Earlier, she visited the neighborhood where she lived for nearly three decades.

Correspondent Seth Doane with singer Kylie Minogue in London.  CBS News

Asked what she'd tell her younger self, Minogue replied, "Listen to your inner voice. Don't get bossed around. And enjoy the ride, because it's going to go like *that*."

Does she not enjoy the ride at times? "Oh, I am a natural stressor when it comes to a lot of things!"

Minogue's determination took her from a middle class family in Melbourne, Australia, to landing a job as a teenager in "Neighbours," a popular soap opera.

Her singing began almost by chance: "I recorded 'The Loco-motion' just as a demo. I sang it at a fundraising event. It was the thing that led to my career in music."

It was a hit:

Kylie Minogue - The Loco-motion - Official Video by PWL on YouTube

So was her second song, "I Should Be So Lucky." Still, she faced some skepticism. "I think I was seen as the puppet," she said. "And to a degree, I was, for sure. I did not know what I was doing; I did what I was told. But there's a steely part of me that I kind of overlooked for a while. And now there's really not much that happens that I'm not across."

Yet, she had no control over her 2005 breast cancer diagnosis. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and was declared cancer-free in 2006. But the experience is still raw for her. "It's trauma, and any trauma resides within you," she said. "The experience of a cancer diagnosis will live in me. It was difficult. It was also amazing."

Amazing? "Amazing in that you are very aware of your body, of the love that's around you, of your capability, all sorts of things."

And singing is a way to process that. "I sing to process everything, I think," she said. "I write to process. I perform to process. And sometimes I think I live to perform."

Kylie Minogue keeps performing – and says it's "mindboggling" she's still at it 35 years on. It seems there's not much that can stop her.

Asked how long she will continue, she replied, "Ask my knees! Ask me knees that have been stomping on stages for years and years and years in stupid high heels!"

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Story produced by Reid Orvedahl and Mikaela Bufano. Editor: Lauren Barnello. 

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