Country music queen and confirmed friend of the gays Melinda Schneider celebrated her 40th birthday last month, and she’s marking the milestone with Life Begins At 40, a two-disc summation of her diverse career to date.

Handily broken up into different sections, the collection even sees Schneider embrace some of her quirkier ventures with ‘Slightly Embarassing Moments’, including her naff childhood yodel-off with mum Mary and her 1995 country-techno collaboration with Audio Murphy, Tighten Up Your Pants.

“You can’t change the past, it is what it is. You can only take what you’ve learned and apply it to the future …. and be at peace with the present, and I am,” Schneider said.

“Yes, I do feel like I’m still just starting. I’m so much more free, I feel like I could try anything. Now I want to do an album with an orchestra, an album of gritty, soulful songs, other things.”

Before she enters a recording studio, Schneider will hit the road. Sydneysiders can catch her from November 3 – 13 at The Star in her Doris Day tribute show, Doris: So Much More Than The Girl Next Door.

“There will only ever be one Doris. Sadly Doris hasn’t performed for more than 30 years but so many great songs are associated with her and I get to sing them in this show,” she said.

Fans can also see her in the Philharmonic Phireworks concert at the Sydney Opera House (December 27, 28) and at Melbourne’s Arts Centre (December 30, 31).

INFO: www.melindaschneider.com

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