Renee Zellweger to release debut solo album with Judy Garland tunes

Renee Zellweger is making her full solo album debut with a collection of Judy Garland songs she recorded for her new movie about The Wizard of Oz star.

The soundtrack project and the biopic, both titled Judy, will mark the 50th anniversary of the singer and actress' death in 1969 - and 80 years since Garland shot to stardom as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in 1939.

The album is scheduled for released on 27 September on the Decca Records label.

It won't be Renee's first time in the studio - she also recorded tunes for the Chicago and Down with Love soundtracks.

Director Rupert Goold decided Zellweger should re-record Garland's hits for the soundtrack and told her to make the songs her own.

"I made it clear to Renee that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect," the filmmaker says.

The tracks, which include Renee's take on iconic songs like Get Happy, Come Rain or Come Shine and Over the Rainbow, were recorded at London's fabled Abbey Road Studios.

The actress' new film chronicles Judy Garland’s final concerts in London in the late 1960s, just before her death. Her castmates include Harry Potter star Michael Gambon, Jessie Buckley, and Finn Wittrock.

Judy is set for release in September (19).

Meanwhile, Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli has made it clear she won't be lining up for a ticket to see the biopic - she has distanced herself from the project.

Recent reports suggested Liza had personally approved of Renee's casting by meeting and spending time with her, but the entertainer took to Facebook in 2017 to shoot down the claims, insisting she wants nothing to do with the unauthorised film.

"I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger...," she wrote. "I don't know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% Fiction."

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