'I made a decision when that took off to make friends with it'
Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns

Whether you’ve spent sweaty nights belting “Torn” at your local karaoke bar, or lonely nights sobbing the song to yourself in bed, chances are you know every word to the 1997 Natalie Imbruglia single that helped define the TRL era.

Eighteen years later, the Aussie star knows it’s the track that made her famous, and unlike artists who shun their biggest hits, Imbruglia has chosen to embrace it. “I love it,” she tells EW. “I made a decision when that took off to make friends with it and never be a hater on it. There’s nothing more frustrating than an artist who has lost love with her biggest hits. If I’m going to be singing this for a long time, I don’t want to be hating it. I do think it was produced very well and still sounds fresh.”

Imbruglia says she plays the song at every show, big or small, because, duh, why wouldn’t she? “I just want to be able to do that for fans,” she says. “That song changed my life and did only great things for me. I can still sing it and enjoy it. I don’t go to a bad place.”

Instead, she finds a way to keep it relevant to her life. “There’s always something going on that you can relate to what that lyric’s about. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every time, but that’s how a song can stay fresh for a person. That’s the beautiful thing about music. You can always keep it fresh.”

Since her “Torn” days, Imbruglia released three studio albums, but stayed quiet for the past six years. Then in April she released the first single from her new album Male, a collection of covers of songs originally sung by men, due out July 28. A stripped-down version of Daft Punk’s “Instant Crush” is our first glimpse into the collection, and still has a tinge of Imbruglia’s ’90s-style angst.

“This is an album for fans of mine that have been very patiently waiting for me to put music out while I took a big hiatus,” she says. Let’s be real, though: Those fans have probably just been replaying “Torn” over and over in the interim.

Relive its glory right here.