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Nellie McKay Gets Pretty

Boundary-busting singer brings Lauper, lang to second album

August 2, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Avant-cabaret singer-songwriter Nellie McKay is set to release her sophomore effort, Pretty Little Head, on October 18th. The follow-up to her double-CD debut, Get Away From Me, which Rolling Stone dubbed one of the Best Albums of 2004, will feature duets with Cyndi Lauper and k.d. lang.

Songs on the outspoken artist's Pretty include "Cupcake," which McKay says is about gay marriage, and "The Big One," "about a tenants' rights activist." Alt-country crooner lang sings on "We Had It Right," while Lauper, with whom McKay performed at the Great Wall of China last fall, guests on "Beecharmer."

"Cyndi's a legend," says McKay, "and I'd like to consider her a friend."

McKay, who plays piano, cello and synthesizer on the new album, is also preparing to star opposite Alan Cumming and Edie Falco in a new production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. The musical will open on Broadway in April of 2006.

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