Kristen Chenoweth brought in a little southern taste to her latest album "Some Lessons Learned," which is her fourth studio record. She also revealed to OnTheRedCarpet.com that she put in some personal moments in the music as well.
"It's very personal. I wrote a couple of songs. It's how I grew up singing. I discovered that I have a lot to say about the things I've learned so far in my life, as a woman, as a performer, as a lover, as a friend, as a daughter -- all of that is represented in this record," Chenoweth told OnTheRedCarpet.com in an interview on Monday. The album was released on September 13. "I get emotional when I think about it because that's not how I'm known at all, doing this kind of music. But it's where my heart was."
The singer and actress is likely best known for originating the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway musical "Wicked." She also appeared on "Pushing Daisies, which ran between 2007 and 2009 and had a recurring guest role as April Rhodes on "Glee."
Chenoweth explains that her new album reflects the influences on her life like Dolly Parton, Julie Andrews, Patsy Kline, Judy Garland, Madonna, Madeline Khan, Barbra Cook and Christian singer Sandi Patti.
"Of course Dolly Parton, being the greatest country influence on me and I think you may hear a little bit of that in the record. I did co-write a song, 'What Would Dolly Do' - 'WWDD' - about how she would handle heartbreak," Chenoweth said. "It's got a little bluegrass roots feel and it makes me think of how I grew up hearing music."
The singer also said her love life was a big influence on the album, but she tries to keep the details private. "I lead a very private life. I'm not a paparazzi queen," Chenoweth said. "I don't like my love life talked about. But I knew that when I did this record I would have to disclose heartache, hurting someone, relationship with my dad, relationship with my mom, my relationship with the Lord -all of it. It is very scary. It's a risk. I was very nervous."
"What I've discovered is good music is good music and if you have something to say, that's the most important thing," she added. "I'm so lucky because it was interesting, opening up this way, even as a songwriter."
Chenoweth had a relationship with "The West Wing" creator and "The Social Network" writer Aaron Sorkin in the mid-2000s, though it is unclear when the two split. In a 2010 interview with Time magazine, Chenoweth admitted that the Harriet Hayes character on Sorkin's "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip" series was "loosely" based on her.
When asked about what was on her bucket list, Chenoweth said, "I've been the runaway bride twice. I've had some great men and I've had some real turkeys. I'd like to meet the man. I feel ready, for the first time in my life."
She added, "I must say too that I've waited because I want to do it one time and I'd rather be alone and fulfilled musically and with my friends and family, than be with the wrong person. I'd love it if he walked into my life now. That's my bucket list."
Chenoweth will return to television in the ABC drama "G.C.B.," which premieres as a midseason replacement in 2012.
The story is about a divorced mother and former high school "mean girl," played by Leslie Bibb of "Iron Man" and "Popular" fame, who moves back to her old neighborhood in Dallas. Her old friends, led by Chenoweth's character, a housewife, appear to be hell-bent on ruining her reputation. The show is based on the book "Good Christian Bitches" by Kim Gatlin.
Chenoweth explains her character Carlene "is so fun because she is the villain of the group. This cast is so superb." She added, "Yeah, they're Christians, but it shows the more human side of faith, which is fault and humor and hope. It's very real and I can relate, certainly, I went to school and grew up with these women. My character likes to stir the pot a little but of course, pray for everybody too. "