King Princess Releases 'Let Us Die' Featuring the Late Taylor Hawkins on Drums: 'I Will Never Forget'

"He really showed me a level of musicianship and also respect and kindness that I will never forget," King Princess told Entertainment Weekly about working with the late Foo Fighters drummer

King Princess' new album Hold On Baby features a collaboration with the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

The alt-pop musician, whose real name is Mikaela Straus, released her sophomore album on Friday, and the 12-track set wraps up with "Let Us Die," which features drums from Hawkins, who died in March.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the track, King Princess, 23, said it was producer Mark Ronson who first suggested the idea. "Mark [Ronson] heard the demo and was like, 'I really think there needs to be a live drummer.' I agreed," she said

Though both knew they needed a drummer, when Ronson suggested Hawkins, she could barely believe it. "Oh, my God, do you think we can get Taylor?" she recalled asking Ronson. After one call with the "Uptown Funk" hitmaker, Hawkins agreed.

King Princess, Taylor Hawkins
King Princess, Taylor Hawkins. Rachel Luna/WireImage; Richard Dobson/Newspix/Getty

"So we FaceTimed. He was recording in L.A., I was in New York, and it was crazy. I was in my childhood home — my dad's recording studio — listening to Taylor make my record better than I ever thought it could be," the "1950" singer said to the outlet.

"And my dad [was] sitting there watching," she told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, "I can't even describe it."

In between takes, Hawkins would FaceTime and ask, "How was that?" And though King Princess always said, "It's amazing," he took his time to perfect it. "He took as long as he needed and he did it and he was so kind and so gracious," she said.

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"And he was like, 'I'm just so thankful. I just love this song, and I just love playing.' He was just saying he loves playing drums," she shared on the radio show. "And to hear that from somebody who's lived such a life that, at his age and playing for as long as he has in so many different bands and his own projects, for him to just love to play the f---- drums, that to me is just what we should all strive to be."

Elsewhere in the interview with EW, King Princess said, "[Hawkins] added something to that song that goes so beyond just laying down a drum track. He really showed me a level of musicianship and also respect and kindness that I will never forget."

She also explained that speaking of the collaboration makes her emotional. "I didn't know Taylor that well," King Princess said. "I just felt so supported by his musicianship, and I can't believe I have the song."

King Princess attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rich Fury/VF22/Getty

As for her reaction to the news of Hawkins' passing in March, King Princess said she was "devastated." She told Apple Music 1, "To find that out [that he had died]… I was just completely in shock."

The "Pain" singer-songwriter, who labelled the experience "maybe the most transformative experience" of her life, then sent a "very respectful" message to Hawkins' team after his death to inquire about releasing the song. "They came back and said, 'As long as he wanted to be on it, that sounds great,'" she told the radio show.

"They were just so kind," King Princess said. "I can't even imagine getting a message like that during that time. I was just so anxious and sad and nervous to just ask of someone like that. But they felt that it was an homage. And it is an homage. It's for Taylor."

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Hawkins died on March 25 in Bogotá, Colombia, shortly before a scheduled music festival performance after complaining of chest pains in his hotel. He was 50 years old.

In June, the Hawkins family announced two tribute concerts will take place at London's Wembley Stadium on Sept. 3 and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Sept. 27.

"Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee will come together with the Hawkins family to celebrate the life, music and love of their husband, father, brother and bandmate with The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts," a press release said at the time.

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