YESTERDAY marked the beginning of a new dawn for Robbie Williams as he celebrated the release of his latest album to mark the 25th anniversary of the solo artist.
Preparing for his return to the spotlight has not been easy.
But the hour comes, the man comes, and Robbie seems to be reborn – leaner, stronger and more melodious than ever.
The Stoke superstar says: “I’ve lost weight, but it’s a constant struggle. There’s a gigantic man living inside of me.”
Sitting in a hotel room in London, he is in great shape and shows off his new physique in a black vest.
Robbie, 48, adds: “My whole being and my whole body wants me to go in the opposite direction and become morbidly obese.
“Now I just eat less. This is a constant tedious work, and this is not a natural way of life.
“It’s normal for me to be twice as big.
“Thank God for my vanity and thank God for my work, because if I didn’t do what I do for a living, I dread to think what I would look like and become.”
Robbie’s struggles with his weight and addictive tendencies are well-documented, and the 6-foot-1 singer has been open and honest about his addiction to sugar, as well as alcohol and drugs.
Now that he’s been sober for over two decades, he says the addictive side of his personality still exists.
After he quit smoking in 2019, he jokes that he is now addicted to nicotine gum and he puts two in his mouth when he sits in his interview chair.
He adds that his weight will be an issue that he will try to control for the rest of his life.
He says: “For me, it’s overweight and full of shame, and then you do something extreme to get the weight that suits you.
“But then you get calories into your body to support what it’s supposed to do, and then you get tired.
“I have an addictive addiction that finds a loophole in sugar. I have never been able to maintain a perfect abstinence from sugar, refined flour and all that.
“There is no balance, there is no moderation.
“I don’t have the ability to do this. He’s either fat or thin.”
It’s been three years since Robbie’s last album, and his new album XXV shows his vocals are in as good shape as they were when he first rose to prominence with boy band Take That in 1990 at just 16 years old. .
In addition to re-recording some of his biggest hits with the renowned Dutch Metropole Orkest, including Angels and Millennium, Robbie has four new tracks on the deluxe version of the new album – Disco Symphony, More Than This, The World And Her Mother and Home. Thoughts from abroad.
It also features his new single Lost, which quickly became a fan favorite.
Despite Robbie’s huge solo success, with seven No. 1 singles and 13 No. 1 albums, he shows that he is still learning to embrace his talent.
He says: “There are a lot of people who appreciate what I do, but there are an awful lot of people who think I’m the worst being on the planet since I’ve been in the spotlight.
“Drugs have taken me to distant lands, and contrary to popular belief, my ego is the opposite of ego.
“I hated myself and thought I couldn’t sing and looked like shit. If anyone thought I was wandering around with an inflated sense of self-importance, it was actually the other way around.
“If there are a lot of people saying, ‘You’re cool,’ you start thinking yes, even if you’re like, ‘But I’m not.’
“If there was an Olympics of self-hate, I would represent my country.”
Part of Robbie’s steps towards self-acceptance are due to his family.
In August 2010, he married American actress and Loose Women panelist Ayda Field, 43, and they have four children: Teddy, nine, Charlie, seven, Colette, four, and two-year-old Bo.
Robbie continues: “I always thought that if you don’t torment and pierce your own ego, you become a terrible narcissist. But there may also be happy soil.
“I think that in my head there was less scolding myself. As Brits, we think it’s right to undermine any sense of dignity or achievement.
“Maybe with this anniversary there is a chance to pause and I can look back and say, ‘Well done.
“It is ebb and flow, life, and at the moment the flow does not decrease. I’m happy, I feel better than OK.”
The next big change will be deciding where he and his family will live.
This year he sold his multi-million dollar homes in Los Angeles, Zurich and Wiltshire, leaving the family home in London for £17.5 million.
The decision on whether to stay there is a hot topic at the Williams dinner table.
He says, “I find that being in limbo all the time is better for my psyche. It’s better for me if I keep moving, so we’re nowhere.
“We are not in Los Angeles, we are not in Switzerland, we are not in Saint Tropez or Ibiza.
“Now I’m back at Blighty and I’m happy to be back at Blighty. But I’m always happy to leave.
“My wife insists that our elders and all our children go to some kind of high school.
“I don’t believe it, but she does. So by the time Teddy is 13, we should be somewhere. We are three years old.
“It’s hard to know what to do – my work is nowhere, it’s everywhere.
“I love my job, I love providing, but I don’t want my daughter to be 22 and never date me.
“So that’s another part of the equation I’m trying to solve.”
But while the question of where to live is still up in the air, retirement is one topic that is definitely off the table, as giving up music seems like the last thing Robbie would do.
He says the pandemic and lockdown have made him realize he’s not ready to take his foot off the pedal professionally.
He continues, “What you’ve noticed about me, and it’s really happening, is that you can treat your work with disdain for your work.
“You come to work and you expect there to be a people’s stadium and you don’t think about it.
“Given that Covid and the regular market may never return, after it has returned, I look at these places full of people, or look at places with empty seats, thinking they will be full of people, and I am amazed.
“What happened to me in life. . . I am very grateful that I got to do the greatest work in the world. It’s really good.”
In addition to preparing for concerts in the UK and Europe, Robbie is working on a biopic for the big screen and a new Netflix documentary series about his life.
And while his hands are definitely more than full at the moment, fans will be thrilled that he says a reunion with his Take That buddies is possible.
I am very grateful that I got to do the greatest work in the world. It’s really good
Bandmate Gary Barlow confirmed to Kristen Bell Tattoos this year that the band, which includes Mark Owen and Howard Donald, are planning to release new music next year and a concert tour in 2024.
So could Robbie help bring it all to life?
He says: “One date is not possible, one song can be handled.
“I’d rather do one album and one tour, but that’s not on the horizon.
“There is an invisible line that holds us together and brings us back together when we are apart.
“If we all stay healthy, at some point we’ll be skating again, and God willing, we’ll all do it.”