UNITIED STATES - Take the sadness and put it into song.
That's what Glee star Lea Michele did to deal with the pain in the wake of Canadian actor Cory Monteith's sudden death in July.
Her co-star on the US musical comedy series, who was also her real-life boyfriend, died in a Vancouver hotel at the age of 31 from an accidental alcohol and heroin overdose.
The US actress, 27, has been putting on a brave face in front of the public and media since the tragedy.
Now, she is channelling her feelings into pop ballad Cannonball, the first single off her debut album Louder, which will be available on March 4.
In the track, released last week, she sings: "Today, today I close the door, I got this new beginning and I will fly, I'll fly like a cannonball."
She told TV host Ellen DeGeneres on the latter's talk show last Thursday, where she performed Cannonball for the first time: "It has been my source of strength. And he would want me to make something positive out of it. If I can be a source of strength to anyone, that is exactly what he would want."
The song, together with another called If You Say So which Michele wrote about Monteith, was not on the original tracklist of Louder, which was finished in June.
But Australian singer-songwriter Sia, who co-wrote Cannonball with US musician Benny Blanco, had asked Michele after Monteith's death if she wanted to add more songs.
When Sia asked her how she felt at that moment, Michele told MTV News recently that she answered: "I just feel like grief is the hardest thing in the whole world... I need to get out and I need to move forward in his memory and do everything I can for him."
Sia then played Cannonball, which she had already written, to Michele, who felt a "strong connection" to it. She said of the song, which was not originally written for her: "It just really explains where I am right now and it's been such an inspirational song for me."
It is evident that Michele was very much in love with Monteith, whom she began dating in 2011.
"There was no greater man than Cory, so for the time we spent together, I consider myself very lucky," she told Australian magazine TV Week in October.
Michele had leaned on friends and family, and sought refuge in the home of US actress and Glee guest star Kate Hudson.
She returned to work shortly to film the fifth season of Glee, which included a heartrending tribute episode for Monteith and his character, quarterback Finn Hudson.
Several local Glee fans The New Paper spoke to were supportive of Michele's venture into pop music and her new Monteith-inspired song.
"I think it's pretty admirable how she bounced back, and I applaud her for it. It's good that she channelled it into a song, and I'm sure most people who have dealt with grief can relate to it," said national serviceman Bryan Lim, 22.
Customer service officer Anita Anuar, 25, added: "She has incredible talent. I love the song because it's beautiful. She has been so strong since Cory's death and her pop venture is a good step for her."
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