Idina Menzel's Billboard Cover: 5 Things We Learned About the (Not So) New 'It' Girl
It's taken her 18 years, but Idina Menzel has finally cracked the top 10 with "Let It Go," her soaring ballad from "Frozen." The singer-actress is flawless on the cover of our issue dated March 29. She talks about her long road to stardom -- from "Rent" to a costly break from theatre in pursuit of a pop career to her recent ascension as a household name, thanks to the massive success of "Frozen" and a primetime slip by John Travolta.
Check back Monday (March 24) to read the full cover story. Until then, here are five things we learned about the artist.
ADELE DAZEEM GOT FLOWERS AND A NOTE. "That threw me for a minute, but then I just got back on track and reminded myself of where I was," says Menzel of John Travolta's now-infamous flubbing of her name at this year's Oscars. "He was really gracious and sent this gorgeous email, and we're buddies and it's all cool." He also sent flowers, and thanks to the "Grease" actor's error, she's a household name -- twice over. "Please. I mean, I've only benefited from it." Menzel elaborates on her "zen" Oscar moment in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video:
HER NEW BROADWAY SHOW? NOT FOR KIDS. "If/Then," which opens March 30, is about a woman in her 40s and features an unplanned pregnancy and a song called "What the F-," about trying to have sex with three guys in one night.
'LET IT GO' ISN'T YOUR TYPICAL POP HIT. Radio hasn't driven the success of "Let It Go," which has charted based largely on sales and streams and is only just now starting to make progress at adult contemporary and mainstream top 40 radio. "I'm just excited to see it break some rules," she says.
HER JOURNEY TO 'FROZEN' BEGAN WITH A NO. Menzel initially tried out for Disney's 2010 animated feature "Tangled." That didn't work out, but the casting director recorded her audition singing The Beatles' "Blackbird" on her phone, which led Menzel to come in for early readings of "Frozen."
SHE USED TO SING AT WEDDINGS AND BAR MITZVAHS. And right after graduating from NYU, Menzel scored her role in "Rent" after she "sang the hell out of 'When a Man Loves a Woman'" for the show's director, Michael Greif.