"It is hard to be compared all the time to Kylie," admits Dannii Minogue. "On the other hand, however, people will always try to compare you to somebody. Look at Britney and Christina."
The pretty brunette needn't worry. After landing 12 consecutive number one dance singles and a long stint of sitting on The X Factor
judging panel, she can more than hold her own alongside her pop star sister.
Born on October 20, 1971, in Melbourne, the youngest child of accountant Ron and dancer Carol, Dannii first hit the public eye as a child in the Eighties, appearing on Australian weekly music show Young Talent Time
In 1988 she was cast as Emma Jackson in hit Aussie soap Home And Away
and also debuted her own fashion line, Dannii
, which sold out across her homeland in ten days.
The following January the young star signed a record contract, releasing her first Australian album a year later and her first European album, Love And Kisses
, in 1991.
She followed this up with Get Into You
in 1993, Girl
in 1997, Neon Nights
in 2003 and Club Disco
Multi-talented Dannii has also enjoyed a successful stage career, with roles as Lady Macbeth and Rizzo in Grease
. Further small-screen credits have included presenting The Big Breakfast
and acting as a judge on Australia's Got Talent
Then in 2007, she significantly raised her UK profile by joining the judging panel on The X Factor
, appearing alongside Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.
In January 1994 Dannii wed future Nip/Tuck
actor Julian McMahon, son of former Australian prime minister William McMahon, who she met on the set of Home And Away
. But the pair divorced the following year.
The experience, she says, put her off the idea of marriage. "I felt kind of uncomfortable and scared that I did not want to get myself into that same situation. It wasn't about not trusting – I didn't trust me. I didn't trust my instincts any more," she explained.
Since then the star has enjoyed high-profile relationships with Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve and former Bros bassist Craig Logan. But it was a chance meeting with rugby player-turned-model Kris Smith in Ibiza that changed her life forever.
The couple quickly started dating and in January 2010 Dannii revealed she was pregnant with the couple's first child." I just never thought [having a baby] was something I would do," revealed the pregnant star, who decided she wanted to give birth in her home country of Australia. "I had never been broody. No clock was ticking. And I would never have wanted to do it unless I was in the right relationship. He felt like "The One".
"I'm not scared, I'm so excited. I think that's because Kris is going to be brilliant."
Baby Ethan Edward Smith arrived that July. "Mother and baby are doing well and Dad is very proud," confirmed a spokesperson for the "thrilled" new parents.