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08th Nov 2023

Robbie Williams opens up on the biggest regret of his career

Simon Kelly

Robbie Williams regret

“In a way I was right, but not in the way I wanted to be.”

Robbie Williams has revealed his biggest regret and it might come as a surprise to some fans, considering his long and storied career.

Speaking ahead of the launch of his four-part Netflix docuseries, simply titled Robbie Williams, about the highs and lows of his career, the British singer told DIY magazine that his biggest regret was releasing ‘Rudebox’, the first single off his seventh studio album of the same name.

“My biggest regret is putting that out as the first single,” he told DIY. “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 names ‘Rudebox’ single release as his biggest career regret

Upon release in 2006, ‘Rudebox’ climbed to number four in the UK Music Charts and peaked at number two on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.

Noted for its various pop-culture references and distinct British hip-hop sound, the song marked a distinct change in musical direction from Williams.

Some distinct references made in the song are towards Adidas Superstar trainers and “pockets full of Durex”, which, looking back on, Williams said he was embarrassed by.

The track was met with polarising reviews at the time of its release, similarly to the album itself, which was called “an album so peculiar, so spectacularly misconceived, that it will decimate his fanbase at a stroke” by The Guardian.

All four episodes of Robbie Williams are now available to watch on Netflix.

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