This album shows off sides of your voice we haven’t heard before–the raspier side, the quieter side.
There were times in my career where I sang things that just weren’t me. You can hear it when it’s inauthentic. I had to discover what was going to separate me. I know that I’m not the world’s greatest singer, but I do know that I have a unique tone. And I’m an actress–I love being able to translate everything I’m feeling inside.
Your personal life attracts a lot of tabloid attention. Is it freeing to open up, or do you censor yourself, knowing the scrutiny it will invite?
It would be so unrealistic for me to be in pain and then release a song where I’m like, Life is awesome! I can’t care anymore that people are going to twist my words. Everybody said every single thing they could say about me. I can’t let that keep me from making the music I want to make, even if it is personal.
Every pop star says their new album is their most personal album yet, but you seem to really mean it–you posed nude for your album cover.
That’s honestly true! I get it. I feel like, Man, I shouldn’t say it that way. I’m sure a lot of people do say that. I’ve probably said that before.
You also served as an adviser for Gwen Stefani’s team on The Voice this season. Were you excited?
Are you kidding me? First off, Gwen is like a porcelain doll. Being able to sit next to her, I was in awe. Plus, I love what The Voice stands for. They told me I’m never allowed to call the people on the show contestants. We have to call them artists because they’re artists in their own right. It’s about uplifting them and not changing them.
This appears in the October 19, 2015 issue of TIME.
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