Sometime around 2008, while reeling from her then-husband Matt Lange’s infidelities and plotting her divorce, Shania Twain fielded a call from Prince offering to collaborate on “the next Rumours,” which would be her version of Fleetwood Mac’s classic album of fracturing relationships.
“I missed out on that because Prince called me when I got divorced,” Twain told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “We’re on the phone and he said, ‘Shania, why don’t you come to Paisley Park? I want to make the next Rumours album with you.’ And that was the weirdest thing he could have ever have said, because Mutt — his standard of what he thought, where I could live as a standard — was that album, Rumours album.”
But Twain didn’t feel ready. “When Prince said that to me, I’m like, oh man, I’m not even divorced yet. I’m just like, I’ve been dumped, but I’m not, obviously, divorced yet. I’m like, this is way too ironic what you’re saying. Right? And I’m such a major Prince fan. And then on top of it, I hadn’t found my voice yet,” she continued, referencing her well-publicized battle with Lyme disease that robbed her of her vocal power. “I was still working on it. I was so far from finding it still.”
The final obstacle was Prince’s personal standards of decorum. “I’m on the phone with him and I’m swearing like I always do. I mean, because I’m just at home and it’s — He said to me, ‘Well, if you do decide to come to Paisley Park, there’s no swearing allowed here.’ So that was another strike. I’m like, oh no, I love you so much, but I don’t think I could get through writing and recording an album without swearing, somewhere along the way! What are you going to do to me if I swear? I might have to stand in the corner or something. I wasn’t sure about that. I don’t think I was ready for what all that was going to mean for me. I didn’t give up on it or anything, but then he died.”
Check out clips from the conversation below. Twain’s new album, Queen of Me, arrives Friday, February 3rd. It follows the single, “Giddy Up,” which we named Song of the Week, as well as a “very scary” battle with COVID-19 that left Twain desperately ill and required her to be airlifted to a hospital.