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Changing Her Tune

Melissa Manchester, best known for pop tunes like “You Should Hear How She Talks About You"--her last big hit, in 1982--is taking a new career direction: She’s recording an album with classy arranger-conductor-co-producer Peter Matz that pays tribute to “the great divas” that inspired her as a child, “those people who should get the nod from my generation.”

Though she’s mum on song titles, Manchester told us she’ll do numbers identified with Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and Edie Gorme, among others.

“I’ve been pregnant for the past two years,” added the diminutive mother of two. “Now it’s time to just sing my heart out.” At 38, she feels the need to evolve beyond pop music: “This glorious stuff (on the upcoming album, still untitled) separates the women from the girls. And the last time I looked, I was a woman.”

Polygram will release the Mika Records LP later this year.

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