From “Landslide” to “You Can Go Your Own Way,” Fleetwood Mac’s music has probably helped many fans through difficult heartbreak, but for Lea Michele her connection to the band is even more personal since her boyfriend and “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith died in July.
Shortly after his death, the “Cannonball” singer received words of encouragement from Fleetwood Mac’s leading lady, Stevie Nicks, as Michele was putting the finishing touches on her debut album, Louder.
“I had so many amazing people reach out to me, there for me through all of this. And I had the pleasure of having Miss Stevie Nicks call me when Cory passed away and she was so wonderful,” Michele recalled to MTV News on Tuesday. “She sent me the most beautiful letter, as well a necklace that was hers and a book, a beautiful book of pictures.
“She’s so insightful, she’s so incredible,” the actress/singer continued of Nicks. “She wrote to me in this letter, that I will find strength through my music. And at the time, it was very early in everything and it was sort of hard to grasp on to the fact that anything could help [me cope with Monteith’s death]. “But she was right. [Music] is and it has and it will continue to be my source of strength in all of this.”
The “Glee” star hit the studio in September 2012 to begin work on the album and didn’t necessarily intend it to be so personal. But after Monteith died, everything changed.
“I just really wanted something to give to my fans. I wanted to just give them something fun,” Michele explained. “At the time, when I started making the record, I was in a wonderful place in my life. I had been living in L.A. for a while, ’Glee’ was great and I had a wonderful boyfriend. I just wanted a fun record that people could kind of dance around in their room to and play for the summer.
“And then as it sort of progressed I realized that A., I’m a very emotional singer and B., I’ve always been very open with my fans. I’m a very open person. And it just so happens that these songs came [like ’Cannonball’ and ’If You Say So’] that I connected to and I started writing stuff that was super personal to me,” she added. “Eventually, I started feeling like I didn’t feel comfortable singing a song that didn’t mean something to me.”
In addition to getting inspiration from Nicks, Lea also worked closely with songwriter Sia, whose contributions “Battlefield,” “You’re Mine,” “Cannonball” and “If You Say So” are some of her favorite on the March 4 release.
“I owe so much to [Sia]. I think we just click. It was beyond an honor to sing her songs,” Michele said. “To get to have the honor of her helping me to write ’If You Say So’ [after Monteith died], no one else could have done that. I’m very thankful to her because, as hard as it is, I have that song and it means so much to me.”
“You’re Mine,” which the “Glee” star described as “so special,” was both Monteith and Michele’s favorite song, and “it’s about committing yourself to someone for life.”
She further explained that it’s the personal nature of the record that’s helping her to heal. “It has been, by far, in all honestly, the worst year of my life and I’m thankful that this [song ’Cannonball’] is out now to create some light and positivity and joy at the end of the year,” she said. “I think that somehow through all of that, this [song] came out and it is an incredible representation of who I am, what I feel and how I’d like to come out of the gate as an artist. And I don’t know how that happened in the midst of everything that went down, but it did.”