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Lucy Hale: I Wanted to Be Like Britney Spears When I Was Little

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Lucy Hale

The first time Lucy Hale laid eyes on Britney Spears, her entire world changed.

Raised in a strict Christian household in Memphis, Tennessee, the Pretty Little Liars actress happened to catch a glimpse of Spears’ racy “. . . Baby One More Time” music video. “I was like, ‘Who is this really pretty girl in pigtails?” Hale, 23, says in the December/January issue of NYLON. “And why is her stomach showing and what is she doing and why do I want to be like that?”

Related: PHOTOS: Britney Spears' most iconic music videos

Like Spears, who competed on Star Search in 1992, Hale first found fame as a contestant on FOX’s short-lived American Idol spinoff, American Juniors, in 2003. Though she worked for many years an actress, Hale will release her first country music album in the summer of 2013.

Related: PHOTOS: Stars gone country

“It’s absolutely terrifying,” she admits. “You only get one album. You only get one single. You get one shot in music. But I have a million different dreams. Why can’t I go out and try to achieve them all? Who are you to say I can’t?”

“It’ll be raw,” Hale says of the album’s sound. “That’s definitely the joy of songwriting.”

Lucy Hale Nylon Cover

One of the topics Hale will likely cover is heartbreak; she split with The Secret Circle‘s Chris Zylka, 27, in September after a nine-month courtship. “Every relationship I’ve had, I’ve learned something good and positive,” she tells NYLON. “I’m a woman, but I’m not fully the person that I think I will be. We’re all just trying to figure it out. Some of us just have to do it publicly.”

Related: VIDEO: LOL! Lucy Hale shaves her face on Punk'd

Hale also revealed how she hopes ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars will wrap up. “I want it to be a Bonnie and Clyde thing. Where Aria and Ezra are in it together. Or Spencer and Toby. But something romantic, where you root for them [even though] they’re the bad guys.”

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