Introducing the Lovely Miss Quinn: America's Sweetheart of Music
She stared at the headline, mouth agape.
The Lovely Miss Quinn.
America's Sweetheart of Music.
Her, Quinn Fabray.
It was the most beautiful title she had ever seen.
The two-column article was written in the summer of 1962, three years since she formally began her music career, and she could not believe that her hard-earned luck had finally arrived.
She had noticed the article by accident. The paper had been given to her earlier in the morning by the doorman as she walked out of her Manhattan apartment building, rushing to get to a photo shoot on time.
"Pour vous, madamoiselle," the doorman had said, handing the paper to her. She didn't know if the man had known about her article at the time but based on the smile he had on his face, wider than usual, she could now assume that he had.
She had only accepted the paper to be polite. The doorman was an older man with a personality so sweet that she could never be annoyed with him. Her relationship had been decent enough with the doorman that several months back, she had managed to convince him to speak to her in his native French. From that day on, the doorman had and Quinn, trying desperately to learn the language of love, could not be more appreciative.
She had thanked the doorman, gave him an extra tip.
The doorman smiled and wished her a great day.
She had fully intended to toss the paper once she was out of sight. She had no desire to read about the latest Soviet-America drama or the space race—but in the end, she hadn't. She couldn't. Right at the moment she was about to approach the garage can, she caught sight of the front bottom page. She saw it.
Quinn. Her name. In her opinion, a boring one— but the printed word captured her attention only because there was a chance, albeit, a slim one, that the "Quinn" the press was referencing referred to her.
And, indeed, it was about her. Upon realization, she had stopped in her tracks, holding her breath, wide-eyed as she skimmed the column. That story. That article.
It was about her!
She had noticed a picture of her wrapped around the words. It was a lovely photo, captured a couple of months ago during a quick photo-op outside of a local venue. While Rachel Berry and Brittany Pierce signed autographs, Quinn had taken upon herself to face the salivating press and gave them what they had wanted. A bright smile. Her green eyes, although printed as black, were sparkling. Her blonde hair, loosely curled at her shoulders, impeccably in place...
She looked beautiful.
Her hectic morning had suddenly brightened.
She read the whole article again inside the cab, on the way to the studio out in lower Manhattan. Two hundred words of nothing but praise for the member of the Cheerios—her beauty, her talent, her smile, her personality. The words placed her in the center of attention. The natural crowd-attracter and pleaser. The woman who could walk across the stage with an aura of glamorous light around her.
The article talked about her, Quinn Fabray, as if she was the leader singer of the most popular bubblegum pop girl-group in the country, the Cheerios.
But she wasn't.
Your official place on the Cheerios doesn't matter, Sanford Ryerson, the Cheerios' unofficial founder and Sue Sylvester, the group's road manager, had insisted too many times. Rachel Berry might be the lead singer, but Quinn was the true star. Her name was more recognizable than Rachel's to the point that most people considered her to be the face of McKinley Records' most profitable group, not Rachel.
Quinn Fabray: America's Sweetheart.
Your role will soon change, Sanford had also vowed. It wouldn't be long before the press and the fans would clamor for Quinn to sing lead, and only lead. They would clamor so loudly that Billy Johnson, McKinley's president, would have no choice but to make the change.
Although Sanford and Sue's words were welcoming, Quinn refused to bet on them.
When she showed her bandmates the article, the young women had varying reactions, but they did try to mask the differences. Brittany, as expected, was ecstatic. She drew Quinn into a tight hug and congratulated her on finally making it.
Rachel, on the other hand, only glanced at the headline and let out a sigh. She didn't bother to read the article but did end up congratulating Quinn. She forced a smile and advised Quinn to show it to Billy, Sanford and Sue.
Rachel's reaction laid a major blow to Quinn's seemingly limitless joy. At least, temporarily. Quinn had wanted her bandmate to be happy for her because although the two women had their differences and their issues, they were still considered acquaintances and friendly rivals. But she couldn't let Rachel's attitude dampen her day. Brittany had been right; this was a sign that Quinn had finally made it. She was now a star. She was a household name, and she would go down in history.
She had worked her behind off to get to this point.
To get to this point, she had trekked all the way from Ohio to New York with only ten dollars to her name. To get to this point, she had sacrificed her sleep, her health (although not visibly) and her relationships. To get to this point, she had to do things.
It was about damn time.
She was now a rising star. In no time, Quinn fully expected her and the Cheerios to win countless Grammy's, dominate the charts for the next twenty years, including on the Billboard Hot 100. She and the Cheerios would forever be McKinley Records' most successful girl-group—she could just see it.
It was about damn time.
"I can't explain how happy I am," Quinn said, gushing, the following week over a couple of drinks with Finn Hudson, the front man of New Directions and her employer-approved lover. He was a handsome man, only a couple of years older than her, with a stocky, yet attractive build and ambition just as strong as Quinn's. He wasn't her type, for the most part, but there was just something about his thick Jersey accent that got her going (a fact that Rachel couldn't relate to, although was absolutely crazy over the man— but that was a story for another chapter).
"I'm happy for ya, babe."
Quinn grinned. She grinned throughout the night as she finished her drinks and accompanied Rocky to the dance floor of an Atlantic City nightclub.
She was just so happy.
She was officially famous!
Happiness, Quinn would soon later be told by her shrink, had no correlation with money fame. She valued Dr. Figgins' opinion over most others, but she couldn't agree with him. And she never would.
Fame made her happy because it made her important. It made people notice her. Adore. Love her. Fame had transformed Quinn from a country girl from a small Midwestern city to a musical darling.
Quinn soon framed the article and hung it on her bedroom wall, right where she could see it when she went to bed and woke up the next day. Hanging next to Quinn's mahogany dresser, it would serve as a constant reminder of Quinn's importance in the music world. To McKinley Records. To the Cheerios.
From that day on, the article would remain hung on Quinn's wall, only to come back down in few years later. Its final resting place would be under its owner's cold hands. It had served as her motivation in life, and it would continue to do so in death.