Damon Albarn turned down the chance to collaborate with Prince because of his strict ban on smoking in the studio.

The British rocker, who has teamed up with the likes of Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Grace Jones, Bobby Womack and Lou Reed with his animated group Gorillaz, was once offered the chance to play with Prince at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota.

However, he turned down the opportunity as he took offence to the late Purple Rain singer’s demand he not smoke in the studio.

“I’d done a gig in Minneapolis and I was invited to go and play with Prince so to speak,” Damon told Britain’s Radio X. “And you know, I was having a drink and a fag – I don’t actually smoke anymore as I knocked that one on the head – and I was just like (exhaling), ‘If you can’t be who you are…’ If I’ve invited someone, they’re my guest and there aren’t any conditions like that.”

He explained that he worried he’d be too “excited” and would go “mad” during the studio session, adding: “I’d rather not do it and not get p**sed off with the whole thing. It’s one of those could’ve beens. I’ve got a few of those.”

Prince passed away at his compound in April 2016 at the age of 57.

Gorillaz debuted their new track, Humility, on Thursday (31May18), ahead of the release of their new album The Now Now on 29 June. The group, devised by Damon and artist Jamie Hewlett, are also heading off on tour to North America in October.

They are also taking their Demon Dayz festival – which was held in the English seaside town of Margate last year – to the U.S., hosting the event at Los Angeles’ Pico Rivera Sports Arena on 20 October.