Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM ET
Can you believe that Lea Michele has never released an album of her own? Sure, you can hear her on the Spring Awakening soundtrack and approximately 15 million Glee singles. But pop stardom has always seemed like a logical next step for the talented singer-actress. On Tuesday, Michele, 27, unveiled the first single, "Cannonball," from her upcoming debut album, Louder. Listen to it below!
In an interview with MTV, Michele explained that "Cannonball" was added to her album following the death of her boyfriend Cory Monteith. Just weeks after Cory's death, Michele sat down with pop songwriter Sia and tried to put her feelings into words.
"I just feel like grief is the hardest thing in the whole world," Michele recalls saying. " And you have the opportunity, at a certain point, to either let it kind of take you down or try your best to rise. And I said, 'I need to get out and I need to move forward in his memory and do everything I can for him.'"
It turned out that Sia had already written a song that expressed Lea's resilience. It's right there in the chorus of "Cannonball": "And now I will start living today, today, today/ I close the door/ I got this new beginning and I will fly/ I’ll fly like a cannonball."
"The minute I heard the song, I had a physical reaction to it. ... I know it was brought into my life for a reason," says Michele.
We do find it a little unfortunate that "Cannonball" has so many similarities to Miley Cyrus' recent hit "Wrecking Ball" (and we're not the only ones who noticed). But if listeners can get past that, Michele's single has the potential to be her breakthrough hit.
And for fans still mourning the loss of Monteith, the album promises one more track about Cory: a song called "If You Say So."
"'If You Say So' ... is very, very, very personal," Michele tells MTV. "It's very personal and it's a very intense song for me."
Michele's album Louder hits stores on March 4. Right now, you can pre-order it on iTunes and download "Cannonball" for free.
Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor—find her on Twitter.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.