Her pal Jonathan Groff helped her come up with the title
The Grove Christmas With Seth MacFarlane
Credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Lea Michele is going in on the ballads for her just-announced new album, Places.

“I sat back and listened to all of the songs that I grew up listening to, and most of them were Celine Dion, four-minute-long vocal Olympics,” the Scream Queens star told Billboard in an exclusive interviewabout the follow-up to 2014’s Louder. “This is a vocal album, and there are definitely love songs in there, but there’s also a sense of freedom. I went back and listened to all of the divas that I loved, and tried to find how that music resonates for me, in 2017.”

The name of the LP — songs from which she’s been performing live in recent shows — also harkens back to her Broadway roots. When the deadline to pick a title was nearing, Michele called her pal Jonathan Groff, with whom she starred in the Broadway musical Spring Awaking in her pre-Glee days. “I was like, ‘What’s something from our time in New York — a word, or a phrase, or something that is from theater, or from us?’” she told Billboard. “And he said, ‘What about “Places?”’ When you’re on Broadway, you get your 30-minute call, then your 15-minute call. You hear ‘Places everyone!’ And that means it’s showtime.”