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'Oh My Sweet Carolina' singer admits he prefers life without The Cardinals

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Ryan Adams has admitted he was “done” with former band The Cardinals and is happier being a solo artist.

The North Carolina-born singer, who releases 13th album ‘Ashes & Fire’ on October 10, says he had once loved being in The Cardinals, but the final years with the group weren’t easy.

“I wasn’t being true to myself,” he told The Sun’s Something For The Weekend.

He added:

It was time to duck out. I was really sick and I needed to cool it down plus I was done with being in The Cardinals.

The singer, whose breakthrough album ‘Gold’ sold 400,000 copies in 2001, had previously stated he had no interest in staying a solo artist – “Absolutely no f***ing way. You couldn’t pay me” he said in 2007 – but attributes his change of heart to the departure of Cardinals bass player Catherine Popper in 2006.

“She was the key. So when she split it was really difficult for me,” he explains.

“We carried on because we had to. I had made a commitment to shows and records but my heart wasn’t in it. By the time we got to ‘Cardinology’ I was writing songs for the band (and not for himself).

“And they actually weren’t very nice to me by the end. I don’t think we were really friends any more.”

Ashes & Fire sees Norah Jones appear on three songs — ‘Come Home’, ‘Save Me’ and ‘Kindness’ – and was produced by Glyn Johns, father of previous Adams and Kings Of Leon producer Ethan Johns.

Adams said: “She’s like my kid sister. We talk all the time. I told her I was making a record and she goes, ‘Well cool. I’ll play piano’. It was that simple.”

Ryan Adams tours the UK throughout October. For more information, go to NME tickets or call 0871 230 1094.