Backstage at Myspace's Amp'd Up! Concert on Monday night, Natasha Bedingfield was getting ready for her performance by crooning R&B singer Amerie's 2005 hit "1 Thing," with Luca Campaner accompanying her on guitar. Soon the conversation shifted to Justin Timberlake -- the newly minted MySpace creative director who was in attendance at the Best Buy Theater -- and Campaner strummed the opening notes to JT's "Like I Love You," while Bedingfield gamely began singing the first verse. Pete Martin and Jamal Moore, Bedingfield's other bandmates, sat on a couch in the singer's dressing room and grooved along to her soulful notes.
Bedingfield's versatility has recently served her well on "Easy," her duet with Rascal Flatts that has peaked at No. 15 on the Country Songs chart and has sold 300,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. After performing her first foray into country music with the trio at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last month, Bedingfield revealed to Billboard that she would join the group to perform the song at the Country Music Association Awards, joining a list of performers that includes Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean at the Nov. 9 ceremony.
" 'Easy' is definitely the type of song that I feel like I lose myself in," Bedingfield said after pausing her impromptu dressing-room performance. "It's a very emotive song. It's just about when you're feeling very strong emotions and you have to hide them and pretend that you're fine… It's a whole new area for me to explore. Music is very universal, and I don't think people my age care so much about styles anymore. It's much more about if it's a good song, and it grabs your heart and means something to you. Whatever it is, it has to do something."
Along with rapper B.o.B and electro-pop foursome Far East Movement, Bedingfield brought her hits to the Amp'd! Up Opening Concert, including cuts from her most recent album, "Strip Me," which has sold 62,000 copies since its December 2010 release on Epic Records, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
With the "Strip Me" promotional run winding down, what's next for Bedingfield? "I'm always songwriting and I'm always working with other artists," she says, "so you'll just see me popping up in all sorts of places."