Interview with LeAnn Rimes

Rob Nicholson

Margaret LeAnn Rimes Cibrian is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She originally rose to success as a country music artist at age 13 with 1996’s “Blue.” Rimes was just 14 years old when she won two Grammy Awards: one for best new artist and the other for best female country vocal performance. This made her the youngest Grammy winner in history. She has since crossed over into pop, contemporary Christian and other musical genres. Rimes has placed over 40 singles on international charts since 1996.

Rimes was raised in Texas and demonstrated a unique singing ability from a young age. Through her parents’ efforts, Rimes began performing in various programs, including musical theater and local music contests. Developing a local following, Rimes recorded two studio albums as a preteen. These records helped bring her to the attention of Nashville label Curb Records. She signed a contract with Curb at age 13 and released 1996’s “Blue.” It became a top 10 hit on the Billboard country songs chart. Her 1996 album of the same name sold over six million copies and established her as a major country artist. In 1997, Rimes crossed over into pop music with “How Do I Live.” The song became one of the best-selling singles of the 1990s. An extended mix of the track was included on her next album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, which sold over 4 million copies. Over the next several years, Rimes’ singles demonstrated further crossover success including “I Need You” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”.

Breaking away from her father’s management in the 2000s, Rimes experimented with several styles. In 2002, she released the pop-inspired Twisted Angel and in 2004 released the Christmas record What a Wonderful World. She returned to her country origins with 2005’s This Woman, which produced three country hits. A similar album project followed in 2007 titled Family. 

LeAnn Rimes has announced her new studio album, god’s work, is set for release on September 16. Three years in the making, Rimes’ songwriting and vocal skills are put on full display in the 12-track, genre-bending album. Rimes also revealed that god’s work includes a number of collaborations with other artists. Mickey Guyton, Ziggy Marley, Aloe Blacc, Ben Harper, Ledisi, Sheila E. and Robert Randolph are all featured on the album, giving each song a unique sound.

Rimessat down with Folio’s Rob Nicholson to talk about the new album, her life today and the road that she is paving ahead.

Listen to the interview here