Robbie Williams has revealed he thinks that releasing his 2006 single ‘Rudebox’ is the “biggest regret” of his career.
The song sparked both confusion and derision when it was released, seeing Williams depart from his usual pop-rock style for a bizarre hip-hop sound. Its lyrics were also particularly noteworthy, with the eyebrow-raising refrain “Do the rudebox/Shake your rudebox”, references to Adidas Superstars, DJ Semtex and TK Maxx, and other lines such as “Up yer jacksy, split your kecks/Pocket full of Durex, body full of Mandrex/Are we gonna have sex?”
Now, Williams has reflected on his embarrassment at releasing the song, which was the title track from his seventh solo album, ahead of a new four-part Netflix documentary. The series is set to explore the highs and lows he has experienced throughout both his career and personal life.
“My biggest regret is putting that out as the first single,” he said. “If I’d have put it out third and explained properly [that] it’s daft – I know! I’m not trying to be a grime artist. I know it’s daft.
“In the documentary, the biggest cringe point for me is explaining to an audience who are about to listen to ‘Rudebox’ for the first time that this is gonna be the biggest single since ‘Angels’. Then I had another thought about it, that it’s my second most important single because ‘Angels’ gave me the career and ‘Rudebox’ heralded the end of my imperial phase. So in a way I was right, but not in the way I wanted to be.”
Robbie Williams. CREDIT: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images
Williams also spoke about his time dating Spice Girls’ Geri Halliwell. “I just found her company very, very easy,” he explained. “[But] it was a very confusing relationship, because she’s a girl and I’m a boy, we are very good friends trying to sort out the wreckage of the past.”
He also discussed his history of self-harm and depression, which will be explored in the documentary.
“Thank God mental health is being talked about in a different way. I read something that triggered me, somebody talking about ‘celeb washing’ of mental illnesses,” he explained in an interview with The Mirror. “And celebs making mental health issues sexy.”
He continued, explaining that there was “nothing sexy” about his suicide attempt, and adding that people “need to be careful about what we say and how we say it.”
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