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Diana Krall on Her Bout With Pneumonia, Covering Paul McCartney and Her New Album 'Wallflower'

Bryan Adams

All was going according to plan for the October 2013 release of Diana Krall's Wallflower (Verve), featuring songs by Bob Dylan, Elton John and more -- until pneumonia struck. After pushing the LP to Feb. 3 and canceling her U.S. tour, Krall is (mostly) recovered and ready to pick up where she left off.

Diana Krall's 'Pop' Album to Include New Paul McCartney Song

How did you deal with getting sick?

I was sick for five months. I had no idea it would be that long. I thought I would get better, and then I couldn't do anything -- I had to cancel everything. I'm just getting back to normal.

How did Paul McCartney's "If I Take You Home Tonight" end up here?

The day after Hurricane Sandy we did a rough, but it didn't fit on [his 2012 LP Kisses on the Bottom]. Years later I found the sheet music and [drummer] Karriem Riggins said, "You should do that." I thought it was a tall order to do a new McCartney song. I asked Paul if he was OK if I should change the direction -- I'm not one for changing gender in a song -- but he thought it sounded really modern to keep it the way he wrote it.

Dylan's "Wallflower" is one of the more obscure songs here. Why name the album after it?

I love Dylan and always have. I got stuck on "Wallflower," listening over and over again. We started playing it on gigs more than a year ago. That's the one song I played all the piano on, me and [guitarist] Blake Mills sitting in a room, just playing. We didn't redo anything.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 7 issue of Billboard.