Despite appearances, Gigi Hadid isn’t the only supermodel featured in the campaign video for Burberry’s new capsule collection. Listen closely, and you’ll discover that Hadid is posing to a soundtrack featuring the singing voice of none other than Kate Moss, featured on Primal Scream’s cover of “Some Velvet Morning.” Originally recorded in 1967 by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, the song served as an example of the “cowboy psychedelia” movement and has been noted for it’s bizarre lyrics. It’s also become a favorite among musicians looking for a duet to cover.
So it seemed like the natural choice for Moss’s vocal debut, which originally appeared on Primal Scream’s 2002 album, Evil Heat. Moss, by the way, is not only a longtime friend of the Primal Scream leader Bobby Gillespie (he later appeared in ads for her 2014 Top Shop collection), but she and Gillespie's wife, the stylist Katy England, are also longtime friends and collaborators. In fact, it was England who styled Hadid’s Burberry campaign, which might further explain the choice of song (somewhat ironically, Gillespie’s vocals are cut from the ad).
Moss’s singing-related ambitions continued after the duet, crystallizing in the mid-aughts when she was dating the Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, who had just formed the group Babyshambles. Thanks to the tabloids’ fastidious documentation of their various exploits, Moss and Doherty’s relationship came to be considered a two-year spree of troublemaking. (By the time they broke up in 2007, they’d both earned a new nickname: “the crackhead,” for which the Moss family is reportedly to thank, and “Cocaine Kate.”) Fascinated as the press was with the pair, few headlines ever focused on their habit of having good, clean fun, in the form of making music together.
For a period of time, it wasn’t unusual for Moss to join Doherty onstage during his sets with Babyshambles, crooning songs including “La belle et la bête” like a pro while wearing such things as a giant fur coat. By the time the group released its second album, Shotter’s Nation, Moss had solidified her reputation as Babyshambles’s honorary member: Of the 12 songs on the record, four feature Moss’s vocals—and credit her as co-writer.
Moss’s musical talents did not go without recognition, though there was no focus on her songwriting and singing abilities. Instead, tabloids developed a years-long fascination with what was going on behind the scenes, speculating about how the couple’s breakup shortly before the album was released had affected credits and royalties.
But before they disbanded, 2007 was actually quite a prodigious time for the pair. That year, Doherty posted a video of himself and Moss singing a song titled “KP Nuts,” which quickly became their most beloved duet. Moss might only have a couple of lines—“rot in jail you cunt/rot, rot, rot there forever there”—but she’s undeniably the star of the song. The videos saw her take that to another level: In the first, she can be seen swinging in a chair hanging from the ceiling, wearing a sheer, floor-length dress. In a later rendition, she can be found wearing a bright red guardsman uniform, waving around a Union Jack.
In 2009, she signed with PRS for Music, a group that collects music royalties for musicians. The move prompted speculation that Moss would soon be releasing music with her then boyfriend (and now ex-husband), Jamie Hince, of the Kills. PRS for Music seemed to confirm as much: “Kate has co-written some songs with Pete Doherty and she will now be able to collect her share of the royalties. Both Pete Doherty and Jamie Hince are members. We are glad to welcome Kate too,” a spokesperson said at the time. Alas, that never came to be. (Not that Hince has given up musical collaborations; he’s since teamed up with Azealia Banks.)
Moss, meanwhile, struck out on her own. In 2009, she temporarily took over as lead singer of the Lemonheads on their song “Dirty Robot.” (It’s a bop.) That same year, she also established her commanding stage presence. Here she is performing alongside David Gilmour, formerly of Pink Floyd, at a benefit for the charity Hoping for Palestine:
The next year, she joined Hince and Nick Cave onstage at another benefit, where she played—and smashed—a tambourine. (It still fetched £5,000, which Moss donated to charity.) The performance was a stark contrast to the last time Moss showcased her expertise with the instrument, on two songs by Oasis, “Don’t Go Away” and “Fade Away.” Her then boyfriend, Johnny Depp, can also be heard in the latter track, and while unfortunately there’s no music video, an interview the pair did about the collab doesn’t fail to amuse.
In 2011, Moss once again put her talents to good use, successfully bidding £20,000 at another benefit for Palestinians in need of aid, for the opportunity to see Boy George perform the hit “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” Naturally, she ended up joining in, just before apparently putting her musical career on hold for a few years. But in 2017, paparazzi captured evidence that she hadn’t forgotten about her burgeoning career in music. They photographed Moss leaving her home in London with her driver, who just so happened to be toting a substantially sized framed photo of Moss mid belting into a microphone onstage.
Since then, Moss the musician appears to be in the early stages of a comeback. Last year, the supermodel emerged from an enormous birthday cake, Marilyn Monroe–style, to serenade the photographer Mert Alas at his 47th birthday party in London. This year, she’s hopefully earning royalties from Burberry—and planning for her next performance.