For Future Past, one of those key collaborators was Blur's Graham Coxon. "As I recall, we were working with [producer] Erol Alkan and he said, 'I would like to invite Graham down to the studio for a couple of days,'" says drummer Roger Taylor, his Grace Jones and Gary Numan LPs peeking out from behind him on the Zoom call. "I don't think any of us knew how creative he is as a player. He played on a lot of the record and took it in a different direction. He was so great to work with, so humble and so talented. Thank you, Graham!"
Another new collaborator entering the Duran Duran fold was Lykke Li, whom lead singer Simon Le Bon refers to as "absolutely magical." "She's like a Scandinavian wood nymph. She's very sensitive. I wanted to get some of that female energy into the song, into the lyric, and it turned out to be a lyric I would have never written by myself. It was nice to let her take the lead with that one," says Le Bon. "She's an incredible singer. She's got something very unique about the way she sings; I learned quite a lot about intonation from listening to her."
As for Duran Duran's BBMAs performance this Sunday, keyboardist Nick Rhodes says to expect a little bit of the AI-aided footage from the band's "Invisible" video ("it's such beautiful imagery"), and also a few surprises from the band's back catalog. "We're doing three songs; it's a medley. We're starting off with something old, then launching 'Invisible' -- which will be the first time we've played it live together on anything -- and then we're finishing with a song that some of our fans may know," he teases as his bandmates chuckle.
The Billboard Music Awards air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET Sunday (May 23).
The Billboard Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.