Thom Yorke Opens Up About The Death Of His Longtime Partner Rachel Owen

Thom Yorke has no problem discussing the inner workings of his mind when it pertains to writing music, but when it comes to his personal life the Radiohead frontman is a closed book. During a recent visit to BBC Radio 4's "Desert Island Discs" show the 50-year-old had an uncharacteristically candid chat about one of the hardest things he's had to go through: losing his longtime partner Rachel Owen to cancer in 2016.

The couple was together for over 20 years before separating in 2015 and share two children together. When asked what it was like raising two teenagers on his own, Yorke gave an honest answer. “I guess I'm more like their friend. I can’t hope to be their mum, but we’re all right. We do quite well. I'm probably a fairly relaxed dad, but they would probably argue differently. We have a sort of semi-chatoic household," he said. "We just hang out. I’m just really proud of them both. It stuns me most days. I can’t believe they’re anything to do with me. They’re just such great people." 

"When the kids’ mum died, it was a very difficult period and we went through a lot. It was very hard," he continued. "She suffered a great deal and my ambition is to make sure that we have come out of it all right, and I hope that’s what’s happening."

Yorke has since come out the other side and has a new romantic partner who brings "a light into all of it, which has taken a great deal of strength. And really if all that's okay I then want to be able to go to my metaphorical potting shed down the the end of the garden and carry on tinkering away on my new devices and feel everybody's okay," he said. "That's my ambition. And if I'm still able to make some music that expresses all that and is still important to people. If I'm still taking risks and affecting people, that's more than I can ask for. That's way more than I need."

Listen to the full, eye-opening interview here.

Photo: Getty Images

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