Kylie v Kylie: does Minogue or Jenner deserve to own trademarked name

If you start typing Kylie into Google you’ll no longer be met first with Kylie Minogue, diminutive Australian pop princess who turned soap stardom into a career that’s spanned three decades. Instead you’ll get 18-year-old Kylie Jenner, daughter of Kris and Caitlyn, sister of Kendall and half-sister to the Kardashian clan. Or, as she’s summed up in the legal papers filed by Kylie Minogue’s lawyers who are looking to prevent her trademarking the name Kylie, she’s “a secondary reality-television personality” and a “supporting character” in her family’s own reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Obviously they’ve chosen the expensive, paper-heavy legal route to try to settle this, but let’s have a look and see who measures up better where it counts. (For the sake of time, Kylie Minogue will hereinafter be referred to as Real Kylie, while Kylie Jenner will be New Kylie.)

Musical legacy

Perhaps setting herself up for a future pop career, New Kylie’s posted clips on Snapchat of her apparently singing but actually lip-synching to friend and upcoming pop star Pia Mia’s vocals. There are, however, some clips of her dulcet tones online, with her vocal range veering wildly from gravelly and unintelligible to a sort of experimental jazzy playfulness as alter ego K Dollar. Like Real Kylie’s sister Dannii, perhaps New Kylie feels the pressure of living up to her sister’s musical legacy – who could ever compete with Kim’s US Top 101 single, Jam (Turn It Up)?


Real Kylie, meanwhile, has sold 80m albums worldwide, released 13 albums, toured the world on 15 occasions and, in 2001, released the immaculateCan’t Get You Out of My Head, which sold over 5m copies worldwide and peaked at No 7 in America.

Edge: Kylie Minogue, obviously.

Musical connections


In 2016, it’s not so much what you know as who you know and New Kylie’s entire celebrity seems to hinge on the people she’s friends with or related to. In fact, musically she’s pretty well-connected; her on-off boyfriend is Bitches N Marijuana hitmaker Tyga; her brother-in-law is Twitter celebrity Kanye West (who she memorably joined in the studio to write “Kylie Was Here” on a notepad); she’s appeared in a music video for friend Justine Skye and is also mates with Justin Bieber, Harry Styles (via sister Kendall) and Willow and Jayden Smith.

Real Kylie may have worked with the likes of Nick Cave, Sia and Deee-Lite’s Towa Tei in the past, but her recent Christmas album saw her duet with perma-smug, viral content enabler James Corden.

Edge: Kylie Jenner.

The need for a surname

In pop music, once you get to a certain level of fame, surnames become superfluous. Unless you’re Beyoncé and Madonna, in which case your birth names were already pop-preordained so you never bothered with a surname at all. So, for Real Kylie, keeping the rights to Kylie are important; not only was her 1988 debut album simply called Kylie, but her last album – that not very good Christmas one – was called, wait for it, Kylie Christmas.

You’d assume that for New Kylie the need to keep hold of the Jenner surname was paramount given that it’s opened quite a few doors so far. But perhaps we should be giving New Kylie some credit here; she’s trying to step out of the shadow of her family, albeit after they’ve already made her famous. Plus, she’s already got a hugely popular app called KYLIE and a range of makeup called Kylie Lip Kit so it all seems a bit late really.


Edge: Kylie Jenner.

Acting résumé

Despite a dodgy start post-Neighbours starring in the likes of The Delinquents and Street Fighter: The Movie, Real Kylie’s recently starred in Leos Carax’s bonkers Holy Motors, voiced a character in the Magic Roundabout film and fought to stay alive in last year’s San Andreas.

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