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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He's been a name in rock that has stood alone for decades, but on Tuesday guitarist Slash only just released his first solo album.
Simply called "Slash," the album features 13 original songs with a host of guest singers including rockers such as Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop and Chris Cornell to more pop-orientated acts including singer Fergie and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. The first single, "By The Sword," features singer Andrew Stockdale from the band Wolfmother.
"I just got to that point where I actually needed to do something on my own," he told Reuters this week. "It's one of the few things that I hadn't done in my musical career."
The 44-year-old, who made his name as the former lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses and parlayed that success to co-found Velvet Revolver, said he felt inspired to make the album to master his own destiny rather than relying on any particular group of musicians.
"I thought 'You know, that would be a fun thing to do, where I get a bunch of different people to guest on my record as opposed to me appearing on everybody else's records,'" he said.
Both the guitarist and fans were surprised by the crossover talent of pop singers such as Fergie, with whom Slash made a surprise appearance at a recent Black Eyed Peas concert singing a version of the Guns N' Roses song "Sweet Child O' Mine."
"She has this amazing rock 'n' roll voice and she's sort of a closet rock 'n' roll singer," he said, adding that before now he had never performed the hit 1988 song with anyone but his old band. "She's got a lot of balls. For a female rock singer she's one of the best women I've ever heard."
Even though the British-born, Los-Angeles-based guitarist, whose real name is Saul Hudson, handled most of the songwriting duties and music arranging for his album, he did not single out any one song as his favorite.
"It's all pretty much in the spirit of rock 'n' roll, even the slower songs, even the ballads," Slash said.
Regarding his other projects, Slash said Velvet Revolver would return to auditioning for a new singer and "reconvene" after he spends six months on a worldwide tour.
And as for his legacy, he downplayed his own reputation as one of the best guitarists of all time.
"I never think of the word 'legend' you know, unless somebody else says it," he said. "And then at that point it is almost laughable."
Reporting by Reuters TV bureaus in Los Angeles and London, writing by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte