Damon Albarn's ex Suzi Winstanley is 'too sad' to listen to new album

EXCLUSIVE Revealed: Blur frontman Damon Albarn wrote about the ending of his 25-year relationship with Suzi Winstanley on the band’s new album ‘The Ballad of Darren’ – and his now ex-partner is ‘too sad’ to listen to it

Damon Albarn’s heartbroken ex-partner Suzi Winstanley was stunned that he wrote about the ending of their 25-year relationship on the band’s new album – and now can’t bear to listen to it.

MailOnline can reveal that the record, The Ballad of Darren – currently at number one in the charts – was written as they decided to end their relationship.

Albarn is said to have been ‘not in the best of places’ as he penned it.

And there are a number of clues about the ending to one of the longest standing romances in Britpop.

In the song Goodbye Albert he wrote: ‘Goodbye to you and me, goodbye to the shallows like refugees singing, crossed the world, we disappeared, and no one looks to see if we are coming back soon, I was not ready yet.’

Damon Albarn’s heartbroken ex-partner Suzi Winstanley was stunned that he wrote about the ending of their 25-year relationship (pictured in 1999)

Albarn is said to have been ‘not in the best of places’ as he penned it

Later in the tune he sings: ‘I stayed away, pulled inside, why don’t you talk to me anymore? Don’t punish me.’

Albarn, 55, was writing the tracks amid their relationship problems which they have been suffering for a number of months.

In one song he also makes admission that he ‘f***ed up.’

One friend told MailOnline: ‘Suzi can’t listen to the album, it’s too sad for her. She was shocked to learn quite how deeply he wrote about their relationship. Apparently she had no idea.

‘Some of the songs are very emotional for Damon, they were written at a time when he wasn’t in the best of places, at a time when he wasn’t happy.’

The couple, one of the most long-standing in Britpop, split several months ago.

It is understood that Ms Winstanley, 55, is staying at their West London home while Albarn is residing at their converted barn in South Devon.

It comes after the Mail on Sunday revealed that the Blur frontman and his longtime partner Suzi had split after 25 years together.

Despite never marrying, the couple have been together since 1998 and have a 23-year-old daughter called Missy.

Friends say that Ms Winstanley, an artist, is ‘absolutely devastated’ at the relationship ending.

This newspaper understands that she told Britpop star Albarn, 55, to leave their Notting Hill home, although the circumstances behind her decision are unknown.

‘Suzi is heartbroken at their relationship ending,’ said a source close to Ms Winstanley.

End of the road: Blur frontman Damon Albarn and his longtime partner Suzi Winstanley have split after 25 years together (pictured in 2021)

Born to perform: Damon Albarn of Blur Rock band performs live at Lucca Summer Festival in Lucca (pictured earlier last week)

‘Even though they have been living in the showbiz bubble where so many couples struggle, they had been together for a very long time.

‘It is a really sad time for everyone involved.’

Despite her heartache, Ms Winstanley, 55, was in the crowd at Wembley earlier this month to watch Albarn perform with Blur as part of the British Summer Time festival.

READ MORE: Blur frontman Damon Albarn says he is a ‘sad 55-year-old’ as he discusses ageing and his ‘best concert ever’

During lockdown, Albarn spent a lot of time in South Devon where he owns a farmhouse which he has partly converted into a music studio. He recently spoke about how he had been struggling in his personal life, telling French magazine Paris Match: ‘The last few months, the last year has not been easy.

‘But the music allows me to ‘bring out’ all that. That is to say, it’s the only way I know to overcome this sort of event. And it’s cheaper than therapy.’ 

It’s understood that Albarn wrote much of the most recent Blur album, The Ballad Of Darren, released last week and currently at No 1 in the charts, about his relationship with Ms Winstanley.

In a song called The Ballad, the lyrics say: ‘I just looked into my life/And all I saw was that you’re not coming back.’

Other lyrics hint that Albarn who is also known for virtual band Gorillaz, placed himself at fault for the breakdown of the relationship. The album’s second track St Charles Square features the opening lines: I f***** up/I’m not the first to do it.’

On the track, Goodbye Albert, he sings: ‘I stayed away/I gave you time/Why don’t you talk to me anymore?/Don’t punish me forever.’

Albarn began dating Ms Winstanley shortly after he split from Elastica singer Justine Frischmann in 1998. 

She later went on to date Brett Anderson, the lead singer in another Britpop band, Suede. 

Family: The former couple are parents to daughter Missy, 23 (pictured in Milan, Italy in September 2021)

Speaking about the reason behind her split from Albarn, Ms Frischmann said: ‘I think it was hard for Damon when Elastica started getting some success in America.’

Neither Albarn or Ms Winstanley replied to requests for comment.

Damon and Suzi welcomed Missy, named after hip hop artist Missy Elliott, in 1999. 

Damon previously described becoming a father as ‘witnessing a life force’ in an interview with Esquire. 

He said: ‘It massively changes you. It slowly sort of shaves off the unpleasant thorny bits and hopefully creates a nicely rounded.

‘I don’t know, having a kid, inevitably you look to the future far more.’ 

It comes after Damon confessed he is now feeling like a ‘sad 55-year-old’ in a new interview.

In a chat with Matt Wilkinson for Apple Music 1 the Girls And Boys hitmaker said: ‘I’m sad. I’m officially a sad 55-year-old.’

But the singer seems to have come to terms with his age, as he revealed: ‘It’s okay being sad. It’s almost impossible not to have some sadness in your life by the age of 55.

‘If you’ve managed to get to 55, I can only speak because that’s as far as I’ve managed to get, and not have any sadness in your life, you’ve had a blessed, charmed life.’

Damon talked about his love of classical music and how whenever he hears anything with a move that leads towards sadness his ‘ear becomes keen’.

Blur recently performed their headline shows at Wembley in the run up to their latest record The Ballad Of Darren which was released last Friday.

Speaking about the concerts, Damon confessed: ‘The Sunday night was the best ever concert.’

Bassist Alex even felt emotional after the concert, as he revealed: ‘I was doing live telly yesterday, and the person sitting next to me had been to the gig, and they said, “How was Wembley?” And she just started absolutely gushing and then I nearly started crying.’

Getting on: It comes after Damon confessed he is now feeling like a ‘sad 55-year-old’ in a new interview (pictured earlier this month)

They’ve still got it: Graham Coxon, 54, Alex James, 54, Damon and Dave Rowntree, 59, (pictured left to right) formed in 1988 and dominated the Brit pop scene (pictured in 2015)

The rockstars are now all well into their 50’s but their love of music and energy to perform is as alive as ever.

Alex explained how a certain artist described the gig at Wembley as ‘four guys having a kick around the park, but the park was Wembley Stadium.’

‘It did feel like a pub gig, just the people going absolutely insane.’

The band also enjoyed seeing their fans faces as the show started in the daylight before going well on into the evening.

Luckily Damon didn’t think too much about the size of the venue during the show, ‘the fact is you’re really small. On the stage, you look like ants. And if you thought like that, if you actually could realise that perspective while you’re on stage, you’d be so intimidated by it.’

The boys also joked about sharing the same locker room as the football players at Wembley Stadium.

‘It was really good because they’ve got super cold plunge pools with jacuzzi inside them,’ teased Damon.

‘And there’s a massive communal shower. I put them all on and ran around singing,’ added Alex.

Back on the stage: The band performed their headline shows at Wembley Stadium in July this year

Damon and guitarist Graham have always had a bit of a bromance, but recently they found themselves comparing themselves to the boys of Wham!

‘I was watching the Wham! documentary recently. I realised that Graham and I are George and Andrew,’ commented Damon.

‘We’re Pepsi & Shirlie, obviously’ joked Alex, referring to himself and Dave.

The band have just released their ninth studio album, but instead of daunting Alex described the process as ‘effortless, joyous [and] weightless.’

It might be 35 years since they first played together, but the chemistry between the four is still there.

‘The very first time we ever worked together, all of us, the four of us in a room, we wrote a song that we still play today. It was there instantly. And then we spent years doing it for hours every day…that’s an incredibly precious thing we’ve got,’ said Alex.

‘I remember walking on stage the other day and I said to Dave, “This is easy, isn’t it?” And he was like, “We’ve been doing it for 35 years, mate. Anything’s easy if you do it for 35 years.”‘

But it seems guitarist Graham doesn’t find it quite so easy ‘Perhaps 35 years is the mark when it becomes easy then, because until that point, it was always pretty nerve-racking for me,’ he joked.

Reminiscing on old times Damon reckons they only played about six gigs before they got signed and then they negotiated their contract in The Crown pub in Soho.

Throwback: The Girls And Boys hitmakers had a famous rivalry with the British band Oasis in their heyday (pictured together in 1995)

Earlier this month, the band performed an intimate gig to just 300 fans for Radio 2 with a surprise performance from Parklife icon Phil Daniels.

Damon was as energetic as ever as he finished the gig by jumping into the crowd. It’s clear Blur are just as happy as the fans are to be back together.

‘For me, I feel like those songs need to be sung again. I actually felt like the horn in the fjord was blown. Honestly, it was like that. It was like, I need to sing those songs again,’ said Damon.

Graham quipped ‘Mop our brow, park the plough, and then stroll towards the big city and don the axe.’

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