Born in Lexington, Ky., Laura Bell Bundy achieved success on Broadway before actively seeking a record deal in Nashville. In addition to originating the lead role of Elle Woods in the Broadway musical version of Legally Blonde, her credits also include roles in Hairspray, Wicked and other productions.
At the moment, Bundy’s debut single, “Giddy On Up,” is the most-streamed music video on CMT.com. Her upcoming album, Achin’ and Shakin’ is a concept album that’s been described as two separate albums within one project. Achin’, the first part of the title, reflects slow, sultry country songs. Shakin’ refers to the songs that display humor, confidence and attitude.
In a recent conversation with CMT Insider’s Allison DeMarcus, Bundy talked about her Broadway background and what we can expect from her album.
CMT: You’re from Kentucky. All of a sudden, you became a huge Broadway star, and now you’re coming back to your roots.
Bundy: I’ve always listened to and loved country music ever since I was a kid. When I was 18, I began to write it and sing it more. I had a band with a girl in New York, and we would go around and do gigs. And then I happened to start getting work as an actress. Hairspray was my first Broadway show. In the meantime, after the show was over, I would go down and do gigs at these clubs that I wasn’t even old enough to get into. That continued on, and I think what ended up happening was that I just got these incredible opportunities on Broadway.
I got to the point where I really, really wanted to pursue the dream that I always had as a young kid and especially as a teenager. … And I was fortunate enough and blessed enough to get this opportunity to do it. … Now, I feel like it’s good timing just because of where I am in my life. I’m much more expressive. I’m fearless, to a degree.
With your album, why did decided to do two parts? To show the acting side and the singing side of your personality?
There are really two different sides to my personality. There’s the sort of wild, crazy, want-to-have-fun, manic person, and then there’s the more introspective, a little bit of a loner … the kind of side you probably won’t see unless there’s just one other person around or I’m alone. But both of those sides are equally present in my life, so I had a tendency to start writing like that. I was writing collections of songs that were kind of in one of two categories. Over time, we just decided it made more sense to actually have a two-part album. It’s like old records used to be where you listened to side A, and you’d flip it over, and each side has a vibe going on. So this is kind of like mood music for you. Whatever mood you’re in, you can listen to it. … This is me. This is my life experience. This is both sides of who I am, essentially, put to music.