Bowie said no to Coldplay, then Beyonce: Is rejecting the band becoming tradition?

Beyonce, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars

Beyonce, Chris Martin, center, and Bruno Mars perform during Super Bowl 50.

(Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)

Hating Coldplay — or at least being honest with them — is in vogue again. 

According to a soon to be published interview with Rolling Stone, the band’s lead singer, Chris Martin, revealed that Beyonce once rejected a potential collaboration with the band because the song wasn’t up to her standards.

See more of Entertainment’s top stories on Facebook >>

Beyonce deferred “in the sweetest possible way. She told me, ‘I really like you — but this is awful,’” said Martin. Apparently his feelings weren’t too bruised. The band and the superstar performed together, along with Bruno Mars, as part of Sunday’s much-discussed Super Bowl halftime show. There, Coldplay’s set was quickly eclipsed by Beyonce’s incendiary protest music.


As if Beyonce’s rejection wasn’t enough, last month Coldplay drummer Will Champion acknowledged during an interview with NME that another critically admired superstar, the late David Bowie, also declined a collaboration with the band after hearing the suggested song.

According to Champion, Martin asked Bowie to work on a track and Bowie replied, “It’s not a very good song, is it?”

Added Champion, “He was very discerning — he wouldn’t just put his name to anything. I’ll give him credit for that.”

Granted, hating on Coldplay isn’t exactly new. At the beginning of its career the group was knocked as Radiohead wannabes who watered down the band’s complexities for mass consumption.


One might, for example, cite this line from “Yellow": “I swam across/ I jumped across for you/ Oh what a thing to do/'Cause you were all yellow.”

Or this, from “Fun": “We said forever, forever always/ We could have been lost/ We would have been saved/ Now we’re stopping the world/ Stopping its spin.”

In a classic Coldplay diatribe from “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs,” writer Chuck Klosterman maligned them as a band that “manufactures fake love as frenetically as the Ford ... Motor Company manufactures Mustangs.” Describing Martin as a “blockhead vocalist,” Klosterman added: “That sleepy-eyed bozo isn’t even making sense. He’s just pouring fabricated emotion over four gloomy guitar chords, and it ends up sounding like love.”

A little harsh? Certainly. That’s especially true considering that in this case Coldplay themselves are responsible for revealing their famous critics. By acknowledging that Beyonce thought one of their songs was awful and Bowie declared a demo to be subpar, they basically trolled themselves.

Who would admit that? A band that doesn’t take creative rejection personally and rolls with the artistic punches. 

The icing on the cake? Last week Martin showed up during James Corden’s “The Late Late Show” segment “Carpool Karaoke.” Whose music did Martin and Corden sing? David Bowie’s, of course.


For tips on playlists, Los Angeles music news and video clips, follow @liledit


Sasha Frere-Jones: David Bowie and someone else’s ‘Heroes’

Beyoncé's Super Bowl halftime show: A primer for those who went for beer

An insider’s look behind the making of David Bowie’s secretive ‘Blackstar’ album

Get our daily Entertainment newsletter