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Q&A: LeAnn Rimes

Whether singing holiday classics or her country and pop hits, LeAnn Rimes will be helping fans get into the spirit as part of the “Today is Christmas” tour.

Donna Leahey
November 29, 2017

LeAnn Rimes has spent her life in the spotlight. At just 33 years old, her rich, emotive voice has propelled her into a 20-year career of country music stardom. With her 16th studio album, Remnants, released just last year, she shows no sign of slowing down.

Just before her 12th birthday, she recorded “Blue.” She was 13 when “Blue” hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country albums chart, where it stayed for more than three months. At 14, Rimes won Best New Artist, making her the youngest to receive a Grammy Award.

Rimes is an accomplished singer and songwriter with shelves loaded with two Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, two World Music Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards, one Country Music Association Award, and one Dove Award. Rimes is also an actor, a writer, and a generous philanthropist.

Q: Your emotive vocal style has often been compared to Patsy Cline. Do you see yourself as Cline's successor? Or would you prefer to avoid those comparisons?

A: Gosh, a successor? Can anyone be that to Patsy Cline? I will say she has always been a huge inspiration to me and to many others, so please know I am humbled and flattered to be compared to someone as great as her. I don’t dislike those comparisons; if anything I am honored. She is a legend.

Q: How has your early success impacted your life and your music? Do you wish you could have had a more normal teenage life?

A: Of course it impacted my life but in so many wonderful and diverse ways. Once “Blue” hit the radio, life sped up, really, really fast. Some of those early years are a blur to be honest. I think there are things in my childhood I did miss due to being on the road and traveling so much, but when you add everything up on this journey, I have been blessed with the people I met and the interaction with other hearts. Looking back, I don’t regret it. I am thankful for it all. 

Rimes rose to stardom at age 13 following the release of her version of the Bill Mack song "Blue," becoming the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972.
Rimes rose to stardom at age 13 following the release of her version of the Bill Mack song "Blue," becoming the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell, Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Prince and Merle Haggard. The list goes on. 

Q: You have crossed the line from contemporary country to country pop and back. Do you have a style preference for one or the other?

A: Not really. I make music that reflects the way I feel or what I am drawn to. I always tell people, maybe I’ll make a folk record. I love folk. With my newest album Remnants, I was inspired by music I grew up listening to — gospel and soul. So, once I started re-listening to that style of music, the songs followed, and the sound just came out, and it became more of a soulful experience for me to communicate. 

Q: Tell us about this tour. What can fans expect?

A: I am coming to Tulsa on my “Today is Christmas” tour. It is my annual holiday tour and I am so excited. I love Christmastime so I will sing some of my favorite holiday songs along with some of the fan favorites and then some of my regular hits as well. Who knows, I am always changing up the set list right before I go onstage. I drive my musical director crazy giving him a new song I want to try out for the evening. He loves the challenge. Trust me, it is going to be a lot of fun.

Q: You're known for your philanthropy. Can you tell us about some of the causes you support?

A: Absolutely. I work with the National Psoriasis Foundation. I have been living with psoriasis since I was a little girl. I work every year with DAV (Disabled American Veterans), The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Stand Up for Kids, as well as The Trevor Project. I recently began working with the Friend Movement and with Human Rights Campaign. We are here on this planet to help others. Everyone needs to find out what moves their hearts and spirits and get out and help those in need. Go and do where you can make a difference.

LeAnn Rimes
Paradise Cove | River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Pkwy. | Tulsa
Dec. 15: 8 p.m.
Must be 21 or older to attend