Kylie Minogue filming the music video for her first single Locomotion, in 1987.

Kylie Minogue filming the music video for her first single Loco-motion, in 1987.

Kylie Minogue has paid tribute to songwriter Gerry Goffin who died on Thursday and was behind her first big hit, Loco-motion

The Loco-motion was penned by Goffin with his long-term songwriting partner Carole King in 1962, before Minogue revisited it in 1987 and launched her pop career with it at just 19. 

"As The Loco-motion was the song that kick-started my music career, thank you Gerry Goffin for your amazing work and the musical legacy you leave," the singer said.  

As the showbiz folklore goes, Minogue performed the song at a Neighbours charity event at Fitzroy Football Club and scored a record deal and single release in the process. It topped the Australian charts for seven weeks and remains the highest-selling single of the 1980s, and brought her to the attention of London pop producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman who embarked on a hugely successful run with Minogue in the late '80s. 

The Loco-motion was originally released by US singer Little Eva, who scored a US number one on its 1962 release. 

Goffin's name was not as universally known as that of his former wife and songwriting collaborator, Carole King. But the lyrics that Goffin wrote - for such early rock-era classics as Will You Love Me Tomorrow, (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman and Up On the Roof - have remained in the pop canon for decades.

Goffin - whose death on Thursday at 75 was confirmed by his current wife, Michelle - met King, a budding composer, when  they were both teenagers. Eventually, they would write more than 50 top 40 hits, among them The Loco-motion, The Drifters' Some Kind of Wonderful and The Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday.

The couple, who were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, split up in 1968. But their relationship and their music came into focus again recently, thanks to Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, which premiered on Broadway this year and recently earned star Jessie Mueller a Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical.

In a statement, King called Goffin "my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world. Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come."

"His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say," King said.