They were co-stars on Young Talent Time for just a year or so in the early 1980s, but Tina Arena, 49, and Dannii Minogue, 45, forged an enduring bond.
The pair are something like sisters—“We’ve both practically lived parallel lives,” says Arena. Adds Minogue, “We grew up in Australia, went overseas, spread our wings, found ourselves … now we get to return as parents, enjoy our families, see each other and blab about the school runs.”
In early March, Arena, who lives in France, was back in Melbourne to promote her new double album, Greatest Hits and Interpretations, which celebrates her forty years in the music business. And she sat down for a lighthearted grilling from Minogue in an exclusive chat for WHO.
When Minogue asked Arena about their decisions to move overseas, the singer—never one to mince words—got candid.
“I’m grateful you’re asking about this,” said Arena, who reckoned she “absolutely had to leave the country for my sense of spirit. I’d grown up in the public eye; expectations were so high. I felt strangled! I had to grow, to find myself. I was lost. Totally lost.”
Now, Arena says, she has made peace with her past struggles: “I felt like I’d stopped growing in Australia [but I found] the inspiration and air I was missing.”
Still, she admits to being befuddled by at least one thing. When Minogue brought up her 1995 mega-hit “Chains”, Arena could not help herself.
“I was quite shocked,” she revealed, “when I realised that that pile of shit was going down [well]!”
For more, pick up a copy of this week's WHO magazine.