Lea Michele smoulders on her new album cover

Lea Michele has launched a solo music career

Lea Michele

Lea Michele is officially bidding farewell to her squeaky-clean Glee image and embracing her sexier side as she launches her solo music career today.

The actress, who's had an incredibly difficult year after losing her boyfriend and co-stay Cory Monteith to a drugs and alcohol overdose, has unveiled her debut single Cannonball in the US. And the artwork that goes with is is nothing short of amazing.

Gone are Rachel Berry's checked skirts, tank tops, knee-high socks and Peter Pan collars, and in their place is a more mature and seriously hot Lea.

Lea collaborated with industry great Sia, who penned the Cannonball track for her. Tweeting her thanks this morning, she told the singer/somgwriter: 'Thank you for this beautiful song. It's given me such strength. I hope you all love it and that it empowers you the way it did for me!'. She also shared a lyric from the track, tweeting: 'I've got this new beginning and I will fly I'll fly like a CANNONBALL" #CANNONBALL.' Jar Of Hearts singer Christina Perri has also penned a track for the singer.

The star has been on a mission to promote her new track and album on Twitter this week, revealing the full track listing for her album and the gorgeous artwork.

Lea's debut solo album will be released early next year, while on 12 December she'll join Ellen Degeneres on her chat show for her very first interview since losing Cory.

We're predicting big things for this one… congrats, Lea!

By Rebecca Martin

Continued below...

Got a tablet? You can now download InStyle magazine straight to your iPad, Kindle (just search the store for 'instyle magazine'), Nook or Google Nexus.