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There's a reason why Kristin Chenoweth loves to collaborate so much with other artists.
The original "Wicked" star's most recent album, "For The Girls," released this fall, features appearances by the likes of Dolly Parton, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Reba McEntire, and Chenoweth told AOL's Gibson Johns during a recent interview that her love of working with other artists was born out of a key piece of advice she received from a certain famous mentor of hers.
"Carol Burnett is a mentor of mine, and many years ago she found me when I was younger, and she told me, 'You’re a star,'" Chenoweth recalled. "I asked her, 'What’s the sign of a real star?' And she said, 'Celebrating others.' I thought that that was very true."
It's an approach that Chenoweth really channeled when putting together her latest album and resulted in a timely message of female artists supporting one another.
"When I was thinking about doing this record, I wanted to honor singers that have inspired me, but I also needed to have a couple of songs with singers that I admire today. Obviously, Dolly is at the top of that list, and I never thought she would say yes to singing 'I Will Always Love You' with me," she explained. "I also have to look at who’s coming up and who I’ve been mentoring, which is Ariana Grande, and I picked the song 'You Don’t Own Me' for us. She can sing anything. Of course, also, with Jennifer Hudson and Reba, on 'I’m A Woman,' I’m sending out a message."
While recording each song with her fellow superstar singers, Chenoweth also got some time to chat with them about other topics, including struggles they've faced or are facing in their careers as female artists. For Chenoweth, one of those is chronic pain, which she has suffered from since she was hit by a lighting prop in a freak accident on the set of "The Good Wife" back in 2012.
"It’s great to be able to talk to these ladies about their struggles. One of them, who shall remain nameless, told me that they have chronic pain, as well," the actress, who has been sharing her story of chronic pain as part of the This Is Pain campaign, said. "Do you know how good that made me feel, to know that I’m not by myself in the industry?"
While the Broadway legend has served as Grande's mentor for several years now (they co-starred in the live television production of "Hairspray" in 2016), she admitted that she's also learned quite a few important lessons from her, as well.
"I’m learning so much from Ariana. I get upset when I read something naughty about me and she goes, 'Please. Live in the moment, girl,'" she laughed. "It’s like, 'How old are you?' She’s right, though."