LeAnn Rimes - Biography
By J Poet
Only 26 years old in 2009, LeAnn Rimes already made an immense impact on country and pop music. Her debut major label single, “Blue,” a song written decades before by Bill Mack for singer Patsy Cline, blew people away. Rimes had Cline’s phrasing and emotional power and the fact that she was only 13 when she cut the album made her story a natural for both music and mainstream press. Since that auspicious debut she’s made 11 more albums, three multi-platinum, two platinum and three gold and won two Grammys.
Margaret LeAnn Rimes was an only child and was known as a strong singer while still a child in Pearl, Mississippi. After winning local child talent and beauty contests, the family moved to Garland, Texas to capitalize on that state’s well-run country music industry. In 1990, just eight, she appeared on the Star Search TV show and while she did not win, the show created a buzz for her career. She won a regular slot on Johnny High’s Country Music Revue, a well-known local show in Fort Worth, Texas broadcast on RFD-TV. Before her first national single, she logged over 100 one-nighters a year and released three indie albums. After All (1994 Nor Va Jak) wasn’t too polished, but it got Rimes her first major label interest and included an early take on “Blue.” Everybody's Sweetheart (1991 Nor Va Jak) and From My Heart to Yours (1992 Nor Va Jak) followed, generating a major label feeding frenzy.
Curb signed her and cut Blue (1996 Curb), which included the career making title track and “Cattle Call,” a duet with Eddy Arnold on one of his old hits. The single and album shot up the charts with the album going 6X platinum and winning two Grammys – Best new Artists, the first time a country singer had ever taken the award, and Best Vocal Performance for the “Blue” single. She followed up with four more Multi-platinum albums Unchained Melody: The Early Years (1997 Curb), selections from her indie albums and You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs (1997 Curb), which both went to #1 on the pop charts, Sittin' on Top of the World (1998 Curb) an unabashed pop crossover effort and the pure country of LeAnn Rimes (1999 Curb.) Her 1998 single, “How Do I Live,” from Inspirational Songs became the longest running single on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart’s history remaining in the Hot 100 for 96 weeks. She also cut “Written in the Stars” an Elton John/Tim Rice composition from the rock opera Aida with Elton John. Both tunes are included on Greatest Hits (2003 Curb.)
Rimes sand four Dianne Warren pop songs for the Coyote Ugly Soundtrack (2000 Curb.) Rimes also made her acting debut in the film. I Need You (2001 Curb) was her first adult pop album and went gold, while she showed off her songwriting chops for the first time on the dance/pop album Twisted Angel (2002 Curb.) In 2003, she published a children’s book, Jag, and worked on the Christmas album What a Wonderful World (2004 Curb.) Rimes returned to country for This Woman (2005 Curb), which went platinum. Rimes hosted the Nashville Network’s Country Star show in 2005 and made an appearance on Live from Abbey Road in 2006. Whatever We Wanna (2006 Curb International) blended country, pop and adult contemporary ballads, but it was only released in Europe due to the ongoing stateside success of This Woman. Rimes appeared on Reba McEntire’s Reba: Duets (2007 MCA) singing “When You Love Someone Like That” and on the Bon Jovi’s country album Lost Highway (2007 Mercury) dueting on “Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore.” Family (2007 Curb) was another eclectic outing; one track, the remixed “What I Cannot Change,” was a #3 dance club hit. In 2011 she released Lady & Gentlmen, followed by Spitfire in 2013.