Prince wanted to make a Fleetwood Mac-style album with Shania Twain - it never happened, but you can listen to his long-lost version of You’re Still The One

Prince was well known for mentoring and producing for other artists - and he duetted with various singers and musicians throughout his career - but it might come as a surprise to you that he once wanted to make an entire album with country icon Shania Twain.

Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe to mark the release of her new album, Queen Of Me, Twain reveals that she got a call from Prince in 2008, during which he put a proposal to her.

"We're on the phone, and he said, 'Shania, why don't you come to Paisley Park? I want to make the next [Fleetwood Mac] Rumours album with you,'" says Twain. "And that was the weirdest thing he could've ever said because Mutt's standard, of what he thought where I could live as a standard, was that album, the Rumours album. He said that to me."

Twain is referring to Robert “Mutt” Lange, who was - at the time - her co-writer, producer and husband. However, at the time, she was in the midst of her divorce from Lange, and had lost confidence in her singing due to damage to her vocal cords caused by Lyme disease, which she contracted in 2003.

Shania Twain

(Image credit: Press)

"When Prince said that to me, I’m like, ‘Oh man, I’m not even divorced yet,’ reveals Twain. “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 on top of that I hadn’t found my voice yet. I was still working on it. I was so far from finding it, still," she says. "I was writing, but I was too insecure to go and get with Prince in the studio. I was too insecure in every way."

History suggests that Prince had long been a fan of Twain; back in 1998, he recorded a version of You’re Still The One, her 1997 hit, with Marva King. Originally released on Prince’s NPG Online website, only a low-quality version of this exists, but it’s notable for an impassioned vocal performance and a screaming guitar solo.

Twain also revealed to Zane Lowe that Prince warned her that if he did come to his Paisley Park studio complex, she’d have to watch her mouth:  "He says 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? Am I going to 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.

So, never the twain shall record together. Shame.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.