A gift from the heart. Lea Michele revealed in a recent interview that Stevie Nicks gifted her with a special “art book” filled with personal notes and song lyrics following her boyfriend Cory Monteith’s 2013 death from a drug overdose.
“I have this incredible book that Stevie Nicks gave me in 2013 when my boyfriend [Glee costar Monteith] died,” the 30-year-old Glee alum told Billboard in an interview published on Thursday, January 26. “She gave me this art book of hers that she put notes in over the years and song lyrics, and then she rewrote personal notes for me that say things like, ‘Keep singing, and have faith.’”
Michele explained that she turned to Nicks’ gift when she was in the process of figuring out a title for her new album, Places. (She explained to Billboard that the album’s name was due at the record label the next day.) “I poured myself the biggest glass of red wine, I put Fleetwood Mac on my vinyl, I lit candles and I legit started praying and looking for a sign,” she said.
“I was looking through this book and praying that there was an answer in it, somewhere,” the Scream Queens star continued. “And there was something in there that said, ‘The only thing that matters is you, and who you are.’ That’s what I’ve been trying to do with this whole record — just connect to me and where I’m from.”
Places is a reference to the theater phrase “Places, everyone!” that is yelled out prior to showtime, the actress-singer-songwriter explained to Billboard. After consulting the art book, Michele said she was inspired to call up her BFF, fellow Broadway star Jonathan Groff.
“I was like, ‘What’s something from our time in New York — a word, or a phrase, or something that is from theater, or from us?’ And he said, ‘What about places?’ When you’re on Broadway, you get your 30-minute call, then your 15-minute call. You hear, ‘Places, everyone!’ And that means it’s showtime.”
Earlier in the week, Michele shared a never-before-seen photo of herself and Monteith snuggling up on New York City’s Bleecker Street back in 2012, posted without caption. In the image, the bottom half of Monteith’s face peeks out protectively over Michele’s half-obscured face.
According to Michele, Monteith’s untimely death had a great impact on the tone of her first album, 2014’s Louder. “When it came time for me to make my own album, I think it was a little clouded for me in terms of wanting to figure out what my own sound was,” she said of having to juggle her own album and a full-length record of Glee covers. “And it was also clouded by a big tragedy that had happened to me in the midst of making that album. And you hear that in the album — you hear the darkness of what was going on in my life. I don’t think there is a consistency to the record that I was hoping for, but that’s life.”
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