Thalia started to give birth to her new album while she was eight months' pregnant with her daughter.

"I had had it," the singer told The Associated Press before a party Tuesday at a Manhattan nightclub to unveil her new work. "And the only thing I could think about were bikinis, suntan lotion, beer and the beach.

"So I began to think to myself, `Hey! What was that song I liked last summer in Argentina? "Sangre Caliente" ("Hot blood")!' And when I went with my friends to (the Mexican beach resort of) Ixtapa, which one was it? That's right! The one by Juan Gabriel!' ... That's how `Lunada' was born."

"Lunada" features 11 cuts, most notably the single "Ten Paciencia," or "Have Patience." It includes both new songs such as "Bendita" ("Blessed") _ which she composed for her now 8-month-old daughter Sabrina Sakae _ and new versions of old classics: "Insensible" ("Insensitive") by Juan Gabriel and "Isla Para Dos" ("Island for Two") by Nano Cabrera. Co-produced by Emilio Estefan, it goes on sale next week.

"Blessed" came to her while she was in a car en route to the recording studio. "I started to feel in my heart the words and the melody that it had to have. I began to write it on a napkin _ to write it and write it and write it _ and I arrived at the studio and ... I began to sing it."

The 36-year-old singer _ who has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide and whose hits include "Amor a la Mexicana" ("Love Mexican Style") and "Piel Morena" ("Brown Skin") _ said she has become a lot calmer since she became a mother.

"I think that, in general, I'm more relaxed. I'm less compulsive than I used to be, less of an obsessive worker. Now I enjoy myself and just try to relax and wait. What's gonna happen in life will happen. Don't chase it! Everything will come whenever it has to come."

Thalia, who married 58-year-old music executive Tommy Mottola seven years ago, said balancing family and career is a question of priorities.

"You have to know which are your priorities, and it's so clear (to me): My family is No. 1," she said.

Asked how she maintains her relationship with Mottola, she replied:

"It is just like a relationship made in heaven, seriously. We are partners. We are very much the same. We like the same things, we do the same stuff, we like the same food, we just have a good time all the time. We respect each other, we respect our dreams, our careers, our things and we share life in a great way."


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