SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pop diva Kylie Minogue, whose hit album "Fever" went platinum in the United States, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has postponed her Australian and Asian tour, her management said on Tuesday.
Minogue, 36, is Australia's biggest music star, rising from humble beginnings as an Australian teenage soap-opera actress to international stardom as one of the world's top pop singers and, most recently, as a flamboyant gay icon revered in Britain.
The Frontier Touring Co. said the singer often known just as "Kylie" was diagnosed with early breast cancer while visiting family in Melbourne this week.
"She will undergo immediate treatment and consequently her Australian tour will not be able to proceed as planned," the company said in a statement.
Minogue is the second pop star to be diagnosed with the disease in as many years. American singer Anastacia underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2003 after the illness was detected when she was 29 years old.
Minogue's "Showgirl Tour" was to open on Thursday in Australia before performances in Asia and a headlining act at Glastonbury, Europe's biggest music festival, at the end of June.
She said was sorry to disappoint her fans.
"Nevertheless, hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon," Minogue said in a statement.
Her record label Parlaphone, owned by music company EMI, confirmed she had pulled out of Glastonbury, host to most of greatest names in pop and rock since it started in a field in western England in 1970.
Minogue, who is signed to EMI, was worth about A$60 million (US$46 million), according to a 2004 list of rich young Australians compiled by BRW magazine.
In 2002, one of Minogue's bras sold for $6,880 in London at an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Minogue has also worked to raise awareness of prostate cancer, after her father was diagnosed with it.
"It is unusual because breast cancer is predominately a disease of older women," Professor John Toy, the medical director of the charity Cancer Research UK, told Reuters.
"To be diagnosed at 36 is unusually bad luck for her."
But Toy said the disease was diagnosed early, which speaks well for Minogue's prognosis.
KYLIE A FIGHTER
Australian concert promoter and long-time friend Michael Gudinski said Minogue was fit and strong.
"It was diagnosed this morning," he told reporters. "I'm hoping and praying because the doctor found it so early that everything will be okay. She's got a few tough weeks ahead of her. The one thing I know about Kylie is, she's a fighter."
Minogue is understood to be staying with her family at their home in the Melbourne suburb of Canterbury, local media reported.
Her sister Dannii, also a successful singer, was expected to return from London, Australian media reported. It was unclear whether Minogue's French boyfriend, actor Olivier Martinez, was with her in Australia.
Fans bombarded Kylie Minogue Web sites with messages of support. "I have always admired you for being a strong and successful woman," wrote fan Helen Fornber. "I have no doubt you will get through this."
Minogue, who stands 154.9 cm (five ft, one inch) and is usually seen in stilettos, has become a global music icon through an ability to continually re-invent herself -- from the girl next door in the 1980s to today's sexy, but innocent, pop princess.
Her acting career took off in 1986 as the teenage character "Charlene" in the Australian soap opera "Neighbors" which led to her singing career.
The Kylie phenomenon reached fever pitch in 2001 with the release of her hit "Can't Get You Out of My Head" from the multi-platinum selling album "Fever."
Over the years her career has hit rocky patches but each time Minogue, reknowned for her hard work and drive, bounced back.
She has had a series of high-profile relationships, dating in 1989 the leader of Australian rock band INXS, Michael Hutchence, who was found hanged in a Sydney hotel in 1997.
Minogue is revered by some almost as much for her signing as for her bottom since wearing gold hotpants in one raunchy music video. The hotpants have been deemed culturally significant and are now on display in Australia. (Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney in London)