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Triple Threat

December 5, 2018

LeAnn Rimes has never been afraid to take a risk. Her long-time successful career, beginning at the age of 13, filled with hit records, awards, including two Grammys, and millions in record sales is proof of it.

With every new project and album release her voice gets stronger —physically and metaphorically. She seems to dig deeper, explore her complexities further and break boundaries both real and imagined, growing as both an artist and a performer.

Rimes exudes a quiet confidence that tells the story of a woman who has seen the worst and best of times and has survived all of it with a sense of humor and strength that even she didn’t know she had.

This one-time child star has been all grown up for quite some time now, but her journey began with her first national hit at age 13. “Blue,” released in 1996, remained at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country albums chart for more than three months.

Rimes followed up “Blue”with several charting country singles and went on to receive major industry awards, including a Grammy in 1997 for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female Country Vocal Performance,” and the Country Music Association’s “Horizon Award” for “Best New Artist of the Year,” becoming the youngest person to receive either of those prestigious awards.

She has had 42 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart and her version of “How Do I Live” is the second-longest charting song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart; the smash hit “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” topped the charts in 11 countries.

At only 35, Rimes has sold more than 44 million albums.

She released her 16th studio album, Remnants in 2017, which debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Independent Album Chart and peaked at No. 3 on iTunes in its first week and earned two No. 1 Billboard Dance hits with “Long Live Love,” “LovE is LovE is LovE,” and one Top 5 hit with “Love Line.”

She recently revealed a new EP for her fans titled Re-Imagined that features five new versions of some of her record-breaking hits. One of the highlights is a ridiculously cool duet with music icon Stevie Nicks on the song “Borrowed.”

Rimes is also a songwriter and children’s book author. Most recently she added actress and executive producer to her list of accomplishments.

Rimes lights up television screens this holiday season, starring in and serving as an executive producer of a new original Hallmark Christmas movie, It’s Christmas, Eve, which premiered Nov. 10. As a companion piece to the film, her record label, Thirty Tigers, will release It’s Christmas, Eve, the soundtrack featuring Rimes performing original holiday songs she created specifically for the movie.

Rimes is currently in the middle of her You and Me and Christmas Tour, with one of her scheduled stops at the Edgewater’s E Center on Saturday, Dec 8.

We talked with Rimes about her music, her movie and the show she’s bringing back to town. Here’s her take…

This time you’re bringing your holiday show to town as part of your Christmas tour. We understand it will include music you created for your Hallmark holiday movie, It’s Christmas, Eve. How will you balance that with your well-known hits people expect to hear?

We just started rehearsals and it has been fun to bring some of these new songs from It’s Christmas, Eve to life. We make it intimate, like you are singing with me in my living room. We sing holiday songs, some of my career hits and make it overall a really fun night. We have some wonderful new musicians joining me on stage that will stir up the magic in new ways. Come out and see us.

Speaking of the Hallmark movie, talk about the role you’re playing in the film and offer your thoughts on the whole acting thing?

I play Eve, I am an interim school superintendent. I was brought back to my hometown to help with tight district school budgets and there is some music intertwined throughout the movie and a love interest of course…it’s a really heart-warming film. I am really proud of it.

Was it more difficult than you thought? What was your biggest

challenge?

I love acting, it is fun to switch it up and do something a little different from music. What was challenging with this movie in particular was the time frame. We shot it in Vancouver last spring and crammed a whole movie in three weeks. So there was a lot of material to cover everyday, but the cast and crew was great and we became like a family really quick.

Do you see more acting in your future?

I am always open to more acting, we will see what doors open!

As for the movie soundtrack, how many of the songs did you write for it and is there one in particular that hits closest to home, or has special meaning to you?

For It’s Christmas, Eve I wrote three new songs specifically for the movie with my producer and dear friend Darrell Brown. “You and Me and Christmas” is infectious and I always apologize before you hear it because you will be singing it until next July…ha ha. Once it gets in your head it won’t leave.

Was it difficult coming up with material considering how much Christmas music is already out there?

The other two songs are “The Gift Of Your Love” and “It’s Christmas, Eve.” I love Christmas time so much and it wasn’t really that difficult writing new Christmas music for the film because we knew emotionally exactly what was needed for the movie scenes, which gave us a great start for the process. I’m very proud of what we accomplished. I cannot wait to sing them live on this tour.

Do you see yourself becoming more courageous and more confident with every song your write, especially when you write from a personal perspective, digging into those private thoughts and bringing them out into the open?

I write from a different place now than when I first starting writing and doing music. I feel a deeper responsibility to the music, to keep revealing authentically what is going on with my heart and life. It is the only way I can write now, stripping everything back, and really going in deep with the emotions. I believe today more than ever I need to keep sharing my heart through my voice and songs. I hope those who hear are moved by what I am singing about and will open their hearts back up to me.

You also recently released an EP with new versions of your hits. The duet “Borrowed” with you and Stevie Nicks…wow…that is seriously well done. Your voices sounded so beautiful together. Talk about working with her and whether there might be more collaborations between you two in the future.

Thank you so much. Yeah, that was a really special recording for me. She is such an amazing, beautiful human. It was really humbling to meet another artist, especially someone like Stevie Nicks and have her respect you on not just an artist level but on a human level. She really understood the pain in that song and resonated with it. We learned from each other really. She completely immersed herself in the lyrics and met me where I was at vocally and emotionally. It was an amazing day, I am really proud of what came out of it and yea, definitely I would love to work with her again in the future. We both said we would love to, so hopefully we can make that happen.

If there were another duet in the works, what song would you love to do with her?

Oh gosh, maybe one of hers… “Silver Springs” maybe...there are too many favorites I have to choose just one…ha ha…and then… maybe we can write together. That would be really special.

Is there anybody else in the

business you would love to record a duet with?

I miss Chris Cornell! I would love to have recorded with him. (Cornell was in the group Soundgarden.)

Speaking of the holidays, what is your favorite family tradition? What about the holidays do you look forward to most?

My favorite tradition I guess is something I started to do with having to be on the road so much, I love staying in my pajamas as long as possible on Christmas day.

I love being with the family, the food and decorating. We are big Christmas fans at our house so we go all out in decorations, and yummy food. What is there not to love about the holidays?

What’s next for you? Any more upcoming projects you’d like people to know about?

Well, It’s Christmas, Eve is premiering on November 10, the soundtrack is out and then of course the tour. I am working on my next album, but it’s a bit too early to share much yet, but let’s just say 2019 will be a great year.

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