From Jason Donovan to Robbie Williams via Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue has duetted with a variety of big-name artists throughout her career, and now the star has confirmed again that she was also close to collaborating with Prince.
Speaking to Scott Mills on the BBC’s Eras podcast, Minogue recalled how she met the Minneapolis-born maestro backstage in the early ‘90s.
“I went to see his show, Diamonds and Pearls, at Earls Court,” she remembers. “And when I say I’m a Prince fan… you don’t understand. Prince, I mean, I love him, and I got to meet him after the show.”
Minogue goes on to say that it was her who broached the idea of the pair working together: “I don’t know where I plucked up the courage from but somewhere, at some point I said ‘What are you doing? What are you working on?’”
Having got her ‘in’, Kylie went to visit Prince in his home city, but not before he’d had a bit of fun at her expense. “We hung out a bit, and I went to Minneapolis, but before that, I think he was naturally a bit of a wind-up, and he said ‘Where are your lyrics?’ I was like ‘Um, I don’t…’”
Japery aside, Minogue doesn’t remember a lot of the details, but the end result was a typically Prince-like gesture.
“It’s a blur. I don’t know how it happened. It was all landline calls to him or this person, I can’t remember, but I got some lyrics to him and then I had delivered to me, by his driver, a cassette of Prince. He was just such a workaholic and he knocked up this song called Baby Doll. It’s me, on my own, in my apartment in London, receiving this cassette. I mean, it was a moment, and it’s typical - there’s no one there to share it with.”
Sadly, a Kylie/Prince version of Baby Doll was never completed - Minogue has previously suggested that her label at the time wasn’t keen on the idea of Prince recording all the instrumental parts himself - but a version sung by Prince (the one delivered on that cassette) does exist. This has never been released, and - in case you were wondering - won’t be included on the Super Deluxe reissue of Diamonds and Pearls, which is set for release on 27 October.
Is that the end of the story, then? Not if Kylie has her way: “Nothing ever happened to [Baby Doll] but I would love it one day if [Prince’s] estate would grant me permission to do something with it. I don’t know where my cassette is, which is a travesty really. It’ll appear somewhere.”
You can listen to the full interview on the BBC Sounds website. Kylie Minogue’s new album, Tension, will be released on 22 September.