Three-time Grammy Award nominee Vanessa Carlton reveals on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast that her mentor Stevie Nicks compared the earworm to her own hit "Landslide"

By Glenn Garner
April 28, 2021 06:07 PM
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Vanessa Carlton and Stevie Nicks
Vanessa Carlton and Stevie Nicks backstage during Carlton's appearance in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
| Credit: Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Mention the name Vanessa Carlton, and you'll instantly think of her debut single "A Thousand Miles," nearly 20 years after it dropped.

The three-time Grammy Award nominee, 40, explains how her mentor Stevie Nicks helped her reconcile with the ear worm on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast with Janine Rubenstein.

Like any star with a monster single, Carlton got to a point where she dreaded performing the song, despite knowing how much fans wanted to hear it. "I feel like I went through sort of a tantrum phase," she says — but explains she "got over it" with a little help from a superstar pal.

"Stevie Nicks, I have the great honor of calling her a very dear friend of mine — she's really my mentor —and she said to me, this was years ago, she said, 'Vanessa, do you think there is any show that I play that I'm not playing "Landslide"?'" Carlton recounts.

With that "perspective" in mind, Carlton reframed the way she thought about the song. "If you're going to get on a stage, you are doing a service," she adds. "You are meant to give yourself and create a show and give people an experience, in addition to having your own experience. You know what I mean? So I think that that's really what I was able to do."

Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton
| Credit: Walter McBride/Getty

The song from her debut album Be Not Nobody earned her three Grammy Award nominations, including song of the year. It was also immortalized in an iconic scene from the 2004 Wayan brothers comedy White Chicks.

She's even befriended Terry Crews, who endearingly performed the track on the big screen. "I just remember loving him," Carlton says of the memorable scene.

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"What a cool spirit," she adds. "We have each other's number. And he's brought something so wonderful into my life and my career. And his interpretation of that moment or the way he feels about the song and how he decided to play that scene, it's quite a trip."

Carlton recently revealed that the song was inspired by a crush she had on a fellow Julliard student, who is now a "famous actor." She added that she's ""purposefully ... not attaching a gender" to the identity.

RELATED VIDEO: Watch This Piano Duet of Vanessa Carlton's New Song, 'Blue Pool'

"It's just about a crush I had when I was a teenager," she explains on PEOPLE Every Day. "And I guess this has made some news cycles because I've never mentioned ... the specific story, I guess. I won't really go into specifics, but it is about somebody who's now very famous. So, I can't ever say. I never want to share it."

Check out more from Carlton's interview on PEOPLE Every Day, airing now on iHeartMediaApple podcastsSpotifyStitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.