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MAY
4
3 YEARS

Rufus Wainwright Chooses Producer Mark Ronson Because 'He's Gorgeous'

The cabaret crooner's new record, "Out of the Game," made with the Amy Winehouse producer, is poised to be his most accessible - and successful - effort of all time.

Rufus Wainwright's Tribute to Mom

Rufus Wainwright's Out of the Game was released on May 1, but the single of the same-titled album is already getting radio play, delighting fans of the dandyesque singer/songwriter in its pop-crossover possibilities. Wainwright, the son of the late Kate McGarrigle of the McGarrigle sisters and Loudon Wainwright III, has a lot of sophisticated urban fans - but mainstream success eludes him, maybe because he simply hasn't wanted to compromise his romantic style and edgy urbane lyrics. But Out of the Game could change all that.

That's because Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson is at the helm. "I knew of Mark and I'd seen him in many a smoky room over the years," said Wainwright, who now lives in New York, but spends a great deal of time in both Los Angeles and London. "He always looks so gorgeous and whatever time of day or night -- the physical aspect of Mark really caught me, I can't deny. But I'm also in love with how his albums sound, the depth and richness of the recording. Mark's the full package."

VIDEO: Helena Bonham Carter Stars in 'Out of the Game'

Wainwright isn't exactly out of the game himself, as the song and album declare. "It's tongue in cheek for sure," he said, laughing. "That being said, I could easily step out if need be. I've got a professional cushion to lie on." The singer certainly has always had a pronounced sense of humor: in the video for the song Out of the Game, Helena Bonham Carter plays a lonely librarian, while Wainwright plays three different singers who wind up in a three-way at the end of the video.

"Yeah, I'm having a three-way with myself," he remarks drolly. "But I'm sure I'm not the first performer to ever do that trick. I guess there's a little egotism in that."

Wainwright just got done playing the London Sundance Film Festival with his sister Martha -- they performed the songs of Kate McGarrigle after screening the new doc devoted to their late mother called Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You, on which they are producers. Now he's coming back home from London and Europe to the States, and he'll play former hometown L.A. at the Orpheum Theater downtown on May 12.

"It will be great touring my album in Calfornia," he told THR. "Even though I didn't record this record in L.A., it still has a West Coast feel to it, a very Laurel Canyon vibe. I still spend a lot of time in L.A., I have a lot of friends and family there I really credit L.A. with launching my carerr. I did live there for two years, and you guys believe in me."