October 29th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
Billboard reports that actress Rita Wilson has announced she’s becoming a singer, releasing her first album this February.
Earlier this week, Tom Hanks’ wife popped in to the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference and discussed her upcoming debut album, titled "AM/FM."
Wilson, 55, told the conference crowd she’s “always felt more comfortable with music than with acting,” and shared that her album is inspired by childhood memories. "We used to sit in the back seat of our parent's car, hear songs on the AM radio and sing along," Rita said of her Los Angeles upbringing.
The actress may have been inspired to record by her 21-year-old son Chester Hanks, who goes by the stage name “Chet Haze.” Chet is a Northwestern student and budding rapper known best for his university-inspired take on Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”
But Wilson has also had her own experience with music, having appeared as Roxy in the 2006 Broadway revival of "Chicago." She was also a producer on the musical movie "Mamma Mia."
Professional experience and family ties aside, Rita says just growing up listening to the radio was a musical education in itself.
"You could learn how to sing harmony by listening to the Everly Brothers' ‘[All I Have To Do Is] Dream,’ and learn about melody or songwriting by listening to Carole King,” she said. “They were not only great songs, but great teachers as well."
"So many people have tried to do it and came before me," Wilson said of crossing over into the music industry. "I want people to think I deserve to be here, and not someone who woke up one morning and decided to make an album."
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