And while she isn’t a performer in the traditional sense, she did manage to regale her audience – or rather the Oprah faithfuls – with her words at the premiere of her Australian tour.
Donned in a sequinned salmon number the talkshow Queen took to the stage at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena with only a video backdrop for accompaniment. And for nigh on two hours that is were she stayed.
Strolling the sprawling stage, Oprah dished out self-help advice and offered up some fairly well know tales from her own life in an usual performance that could be described as part-sermon, part life-coach appearance.
“I’m here to help you turn up the volume in your life,” the media mogul told an audience of some 12,000 fans who had payed anywhere between $79 and $356 for An Evening With Oprah.
As for the ‘O VIP Photo and Soundcheck Experience’ which includes a group photo with Oprah, a 15-minute group Q&A with her during soundcheck, and a pre-show cocktail party (that Oprah did not attend) – that cost $2569.
She spoke of humble beginnings, growing up poor in the segregated state of Mississippi without electricity, and being raised by her grandmother until she was seven-years-old.
She talked about her tumultuous upbringing, being raped by a cousin when she was only nine, molested by two other family members and becoming pregnant when she was 14.
Of the abuse, the 61-year-old billionaire said “It makes you feel shame and guilt”.
The child – a boy – was delivered prematurely and died shortly after birth.
In an emotional declaration, Winfrey revealed for the first time that she had at last given a name to the baby – Kaynan.
“I did have a son. And I named him Kaynan because Kaynan means new land, new life.”
She explained ‘I did an interview with a reporter before I came to Australia and she said you should name the baby son who died,’ she explained, adding: ‘So I have named him’.
It was after that ordeal, she said whatever she does in life, she would be “excellent”.
Moving onto her sucesses, from news reporter to talkshow host, actor, producer and most recently the founder of a girl’s school in South Africa, Oprah urged those hanging onto her every word to be the “truest” version of themselves.
She reasoned “If you are born, there’s a reason for you to be here”.
Whether or not the predominately female audience was prepared for the stripped-back “one-of-a-kind intimate evening” is a bit of mystery, but by most accounts Oprah’s opening performance was for the loyal followers.
And her final exhortation – “Take your glory, Melbourne. Take your glory and run!”
By Kirsty Holyman