The story of Kylie Minogue's Glastonbury Sunday Legends set

28 May 2022, 18:00

Glastonbury Festival 2019 - Day Five
Kylie Minogue played Glastonbury Festival in 2019. Picture: Getty

By Jenny Mensah

The Aussie singer's 2019 show was named the most watched Glastonbury performance of all time, but why was it so important?

Kylie Minogue celebrates her 54th birthday this Saturday 28th May and it's dar to say at 54 years she's got more than enough to be proud of

The Aussie singer has achieved many things in her career, but her record breaking Sunday Legends set at Glastonbury Festiival in 2019 has to be one of them.

Not only did the Princess of Pop join the likes of Lionel Ritchie, Dolly Parton and Barry Gibb to play the coveted Sunday teatime slot at on the Pyramid Stage, but it was dubbed most watched Glastonbury performance ever.

It smashed headline performances from Ed Sheeran, Adele and Beyonce with a peak of 3.9million people watching the closing part of her set at the same time.

The set saw the Can't Get You Out Of My Head legend play a selection of hits from throughout her three-decade-long music career, and featured guest appearances from Coldplay's Chris Martin and Nick Cave.

The slot was particularly poignant for the 54-year-old star who was actually supposed to play the festival back in 2005.

Find out why she was forced to cancel her slot back then and why her 2019 performance was so significant.

READ MORE: Are these the best Glastonbury headliners of all time?

Why was Kylie forced to cancel her appearance at Glastonbury 2005?

Kylie was due to headline the Pyramid Stage 14 years ago as part of her Showgirl tour, but had to cancel her performance due to a breast cancer diagnosis.

As reported by NME at the time, a statement released on 17 May 2005 read: "Kylie Minogue has had to pull out of her headlining appearance at this year’s Glastonbury Festival due to ill health. This follows the confirmation early this morning that she has been diagnosed with early breast cancer and that she will undergo immediate treatment. Consequently, her Australian tour, which was due to open in Sydney this Thursday, May 19, will not be able to proceed as planned."

Kylie added: "I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australia and to Glastonbury, and am sorry to have to disappoint my fans. Nevertheless, hopefully all will work out fine and I’ll be back with you all again soon”.

Glastonbury Festival organisers also said in a statement: “Glastonbury Festival was saddened to hear the news that Kylie Minogue has been diagnosed with breast cancer…our thoughts are with Kylie at this very difficult time.”

READ MORE: Who was the first rapper to headline Glastonbury Festival?

Who replaced Kylie in 2005?

The Spinning Around singer was replaced by British electronic duo Basement Jaxx, who then completed the line-up of headliners with The White Stripes and Coldplay.

It was during the latter's headline set on the Pyramid Stage that Chris Martin chose to pay homage to Minogue by covering her Can't Get You Out Of My Head single - a cover that Martin and Minogue then reprieved in 2019.

Addressing the crowd before their rendition, the Coldplay frontman said: "... Kylie Minogue had that thing going on, and we thought, 'everybody's sort of paid to see Kylie as well, so shouldn't we sort of salute absent friends?'

"And that's why we're going to do this..."

Watch them perform Kylie's 2001 track:

Coldplay - Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Glastonbury 2005

WATCH MORE: Are these Coldplay's best ever live covers?

What happened at Kylie's Glastonbury 2019 slot?

14 years later, Kylie returned to play the Pyramid Stage - this time in the Legends slot.

Her retrospective 18-track-setlist featured the likes of I Should Be so Lucky, Spinning Around, Locomotion and a special appearance from Nick Cave for their duet Where Wild Roses Grow- which she played for the first time in full since 1995.

The pop priestess was also accompanied by Chris Martin on her Can't Get You Out Of My Head hit - a nod to Coldplay's performance in Kylie's absence back in 2005.

Kylie Minogue and Chris Martin perform on the Pyramid stage during day five of Glastonbury
Kylie Minogue and Chris Martin perform on the Pyramid stage during day five of Glastonbury. Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Kylie's performance may have hit the spot for many of her fans and for viewers around the world, but the Aussie star revealed she thought it wasn't good enough.

"My reaction was so at odds with the response and the reception it got," the singer said.

"I hadn’t done it as well as I wanted. I’ve always been so hypercritical. Was this supposed to be the pinnacle of my career? It’s not good enough. I’m better than that."

She added: "I mean, I am fine now. Sort of. I guess I had to go through that, watch it, look at it objectively and get that out of my system. It just wasn’t perfection in my eyes"

"I have to learn to let it live, as it was for everyone else."

It may have not been perfection to Kylie, but for many reasons it will go down as one of the most memorable Glasto performances of all time.

See Kylie's Glastonbury 2019 setlist here:

Act I

1. Love at First Sight

2. I Should Be So Lucky

3. On a Night Like This

Act II

4. Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi

5. Hand on Your Heart

6. Where the Wild Roses Grow (with Nick Cave - the first time fully performed in a Kylie show since 1995)


7. Slow (With elements of "Fashion" by David Bowie)

8. Confide in Me

9. Kids (Robbie Williams collaboration)

10. Can't Get You Out of My Head (with Chris Martin)

Act IV

- Suddenly (Angry Anderson song)

11. Especially for You (Jason Donovan cover)

12. Shocked

13. Step Back in Time

14. Better the Devil You Know

16. The Loco-Motion (Carole King cover)

16. All the Lovers

17. Dancing

18. Spinning Around

WATCH: Johnny Marr joins The Killers for This Charming Man and Mr Brightside at Glastonbury 2019

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