The incident took place in 2001, when Williams, who’d placed his first three solo albums after leaving Take That at No. 1 on the U.K. charts, joined forces with Queen to re-record “We Are the Champions” for the soundtrack to A Knight’s Tale.
In a new interview on SiriusXM, Williams couldn’t recall most of the details, but said it was absolutely amazing” being “in the recording booth with Roger [Taylor] and Brian [May]. … And to be in the room with real history – proper history – felt absolutely incredible.”
Afterward, they asked him to join the band, but he declined, noting that “even though I’m very confident here on the microphone,” he has “very low self-esteem. And I just thought I’d save them the audacity of me even trying to step on a stage and be the same echelon as Freddie Mercury. He, to me, is angelic. He’s godlike. It was just too scary.”
You can watch the interview below.
Williams also admitted, with a wink, that the financial aspects didn’t work out in his favor: “I was doing stadiums myself at the time. I didn’t want to have to split it three ways, but that’s another story.”
But the pop singer said he doesn’t regret skipping the opportunity to front the classic rock band, and feels they made the right choice with their current singer.
“Adam Lambert — if he wasn’t such a lovely person, which he is — I would just be terrified of him because of his pure talent,” Williams said. “His voice is absolutely incredible. And he’s an incredible performer, and a lovely person to boot. I’m really pleased when I meet people that I’m just overawed by their talent — he gives me a talent hard-on — and they’re nice. It’s much better than meeting people that give you a talent hard-on and they’re assholes. You’re just like, ‘Oh, I hate everything you’ve done now.”