Damon Albarn on the surprising reason why he turned down a collaboration with Prince

Would you have done the same?

Damon Albarn has revealed that he once turned down the chance to collaborate with Prince, because the late icon wouldn’t let him smoke in the recording studio.

Last night saw the return of the Blur frontman, as Gorillaz drop two new songs and announce new album ‘The Now Now’ along with more world tour dates. Known as a serial collaborator, Albarn has now revealed that one of the biggest passed him by – rejecting an invitation from the Purple One.

“Yeah I didn’t go. I’d done a gig in Minneapolis and I was invited to go and play with Prince so to speak,” Albarn TOLD Radio X. “And you know, I was having a drink and a fag — I don’t actually smoke anymore as I knocked that one on the head — and I was just like… If you can’t be who you are…”


He continued: “If I’ve invited someone, they’re my guest and there aren’t any conditions like that. And anyway, It’s like I could go and have a cigarette outside if I needed it. You know, I’d be fucking excited and how could I not fucking go mad if I’m with Prince?

“So I’d rather not do it and not get pissed off with the whole thing. It’s one of those could’ve beens. I’ve got a few of those.”


Albarn also revealed that the new album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen is nearing completion.

“We’re playing it back at the moment downstairs,” he said. “So yeah, I think it is [finished].”


He continued to give further updates on other music he has coming up. “It’s been a really exciting time,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic year so far. I’ve been in South Africa, did an album with amazing artists and then did [Gorillaz‘s] ‘The Now Now’, and then The Good, The Bad & The Queen. So there’s a lot of music coming out. I hope [I’ve] sort of been good with my editing otherwise everyone is going to be sick of what I do.”

Gorillaz release new album ‘The Now Now’ on June 29.

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