Delta Goodrem shares heartbreaking confession about fame: 'Huge lesson'

It's been 20 years since the Aussie songstress was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Delta Goodrem has opened up about how her devastating cancer diagnosis at age 18 completely changed her career trajectory.

The singer-songwriter was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003, three months after the release of her debut album Innocent Eyes, and was forced to cancel all working commitments while undergoing treatment.

Delta Goodrem in 2023 / Delta Goodrem at the ARIAs in 2003.
Delta Goodrem has reflected on how her 2003 cancer diagnosis impacted her career. Photos: Getty

In an interview with Stellar Magazine this week, the 38-year-old shared that the chapter in her life taught her to “accept what you can’t control”.

“I think of my story: for a moment, it looked like it would take the course of those before me – and those after me,” she said.

"I was signed to a music label young, I joined a fabulous TV series [Neighbours], and I had hits around the world. But my story wasn’t meant to take the trajectory many thought it would.

“Mine was my own, and happening in its own time, and I think that’s been a huge lesson for me to accept.”


Delta recently embarked on a European tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Innocent Eyes, which she describes as “extremely meaningful”.

“As fate had it back then, I didn’t get the honour of getting to perform that album when it came out, or celebrate its success, as I was spending so much time at St Vincent’s Hospital, instead,” she reflected.

“To say to my younger self, ‘You’ll get to celebrate and truly feel the impact and love from that album all these years later’? Now that surprises me.”

'That's life'

Delta underwent a year of cancer treatment following her diagnosis, including eight months of chemotherapy and two months of radiotherapy.

She recently took to Instagram to mark the 20-year anniversary of her diagnosis and the "mixed emotions" she felt as her career was beginning to take off.

“July 8, 2003. Twenty years ago today. I remember that day so clearly and all the mixed emotions that came with the news of being diagnosed with cancer while my album had been sitting at #1 for three months prior and the third single hit #1 same day,” she wrote.


“I was meant to be going over to Europe where my album had just debut #2 and #1 in all different countries that week to start international promo. One split second and all the plans had changed. That’s life.

“There is meaning and beauty in facing these challenges from a different viewpoint. There must be a reason this is happening - How can I come out better. What is the lesson.”

Delta has since launched the Delta Goodrem Foundation alongside St Vincent's Hospital and The Kinghorn Cancer Centre to raise funds for the acceleration of innovative blood cancer research.

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at