Broadway's "Blonde" Star Sings Country

The star of Brodway's new smash hit "Legally Blonde" took to a smaller stage at the Birdland nightclub in midtown Manhattan on Monday to perform songs from her recently released debut solo album.

Laura Bell Bundy said that in many ways the album — a mix of classic songs and original tunes — harkens back to a previous time.

"I sort of have an obsession with things that were gone before I was
born," she told The's Poppy Harlow. "Like music or books, philosophy, stories, people."

She's appropriately titled the album "Longing for a Place Already Gone."

"Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggerd, Johny Cash — those are my country influences," she continued. "Then Rosemary Clooney, Billie Holiday in terms of jazz influences. There is a little bit of a jazz appeal in the album in some ways because it's in many ways a throwback — you know my hair's a throwback, my costume, the whole thing."

Bundy says she's had an affinity for music from previous generations since she was little. By the age of 4, she was performing her own version of the Dolly Parton-Kenny Rogers hit "Islands in the Stream" at family get-togethers.

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The 26-year-old Kentucky native has been a natural performer ever since.

"I get paid for being myself, and that's great," she said.

Bundy wrote many of the songs on the album, which she worked on for several years, and says most of the ballads hold a special meaning for her and come from a deeply personal place.

"I really, really loved doing this album," she said. "It was such a growing experience for me and I've worked on music for such a long time but I've never really been responsible for my own album in terms of co-writing and producing and being really, really immersed in the creative process of it."

She calls her blend of country and alternative music "y'alternative."

Her passion for her music is matched by her passion for acting — even when things go wrong on stage.

"There's some really hilarious things that happen on stage with the cast," she said. "I lost my shoe once in the middle of a number. It flew out in to the audience, and I kicked the other one off and ended the show in bare feet. I love when things like that happen. I love when things go wrong."

Despite her busy schedule, Bundy finds time to give back. She started a foundation called Kreative Kids, which helps promote arts in schools where funding is lacking.

Laura Bell Bundy will be starring in "Legally Blonde" through February.
By Poppy Harlow