Lea Michele: 'I'm So Grateful I Experienced True Love'
"I'm so grateful to get to say that I experienced true love and I think that a lot of people unfortunately don't," said the actress. "They'll go a whole lifetime without this experience. I did and I consider myself so lucky. It takes me back to the best time of my life, so whenever I need to remember that, I play that song."
Following Monteith's tragic death, Michele found comfort during her meeting with songwriter Sia Furler, marking the first time she listened to the song "Cannonball," which appears on her debut album, 'Louder.'
"I just literally keeled over," Michele said. "Grief is a very scary thing, and there comes a point where it can really take you down." The song, which features inspirational lyrics - "And now I will start living today, I've got this new beginning and I will fly," she sings - is the first song on the album. She added, "When I heard 'Cannonball,' it lifted me up. It was what I needed to get through my difficult situation."
Reflecting on the past several months, the 27-year-old opines, "If I've learned anything from this past year it's that you have one life. I didn't really understand what that meant until recently. You have to live your life to the fullest and you have to love as hard as you can love."
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Michele debuted on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement for the role of Young Cosette in the original New York production of LES MISERABLES. Following her theatrical debut in LES MISERABLES, Michele was cast in the role of Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the 1998 original Broadway cast of Ragtime and in 2004, Michele portrayed "Shprintze" and "Chava" in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Michele originated the role of Wendla in Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical version of Spring Awakening on Broadway in 2006. Michele was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in Spring Awakening in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
In early 2009, Michele won the role of Rachel Berry on the FOX television SMASH hit, Glee (2009) and since the show's premiere on May 19, 2009, Michele has since received worldwide critical and public acclaim for her performance on the show.