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• YOU PLAYED ELLE WOODS IN THE LEGALLY BLONDE MUSICAL ON BROADWAY.

I learned a lot from Elle. That's when I started to be true to myself and honest with others.

• AT 11, YOU HAD BRITNEY SPEARS AND NATALIE PORTMAN AS UNDERSTUDIES IN RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL.

Britney was quiet and sweet. Natalie and I had sleepovers, played dress up and made prank calls. She's been to my [Broadway] shows.

• WHICH MUSICAL HEROES DID YOU CHANNEL ON YOUR ALBUM?

My Achin' country ballads are the love child of Loretta Lynn and Otis Redding. And on the Shakin' side, I was going for a country Amy Winehouse.

• AS A KENTUCKY GIRL IN NEW YORK, WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE?

You see just how southern you are and appreciate it. I avoided a debutante ball, I like gentlemen, and I want my own country music variety show-bring Hee Haw back!

WATCH LAURA BELL REVEAL THE CMT AWARD NOMS MAY 11 AT PEOPLE.COM/CMT