Known As: LeAnn
Birth Name: Margaret LeAnn Rimes
Birthdate: August 28, 1982
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi
Factoids: 1991: At the age of 8, LeAnn was a two-week Star Search
Education: Tutored, skipped two grades
and "sensation" are a couple of the terms used to
describe 18-year-old LeAnn Rimes early in her career, and she
continues to carry these faithfully as one of the leading singers
of the 1990s. Rimes' talent has earned her numerous awards and
experience in dynamic projects that will carry her into the
new millennium. One of the highlights of Rimes' career was performing
"Written in the Stars," a duet with Elton John from
his album Aida on The People's Choice Awards, The Tonight Show,
Late Night With David Letterman and The Today Show.
Rimes' debut record,
"Blue," took the airwaves by storm. "Blue"
entered Billboard's country chart at No. 49 and went to Top
10, making Rimes the youngest country singer ever to debut that
Rimes' album, also
titled Blue, immediately shot to the top of the charts the week
it debuted, placing itself as the No. 1 album on the Billboard
country charts and No. 3 on the pop Billboard 200. You Light
Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, multi-platinum follow-up album,
debuted at No. 1 on the country, pop and contemporary Christian
charts -- a first-time accomplishment for a country artist.
The Early Years: Unchained Melody, a compilation album of Rimes'
early work, was released in early 1997 and sold multi-platinum.
To top off 1997, Rimes had a No. 1 pop single with "How
Do I Live," which held the Billboard chart record of 60
consecutive weeks at No. 1, and received their Special Hot 100
talents also garnered her Best New Country Artist at the American
Music Awards, the CMA "Horizon Award", (and earlier
CMA nominations that make LeAnn the youngest CMA nominee in
the history of the Country Music Association), and Grammy awards
for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Born August 28, 1982,
in Jackson, Miss Rimes, an only child, began singing before
she was two.
"My dad has
tapes of me doing 'You Are My Sunshine,' 'Getting to Know You,'
and 'Have Mercy' by the Judds," Rimes says.
At age 5, Rimes entered
and won her first song and dance competition (with a version
of "Getting to Know You") and told her parents, Wilbur
and Belinda, she wanted a life in show business. The family
moved to Texas when Rimes was 6 to pursue that dream, and she
subsequently auditioned (and nearly snagged) the lead in Annie
II on Broadway. At 7 she made her stage debut in a Dallas musical
production of A Christmas Carol, playing the lead role of Tiny
Tim. Rimes was a two-week champion on the television show, Star
Search, when she was 8, and she has been a regular on Johnnie
High's Country Music Review in Forth Worth, Texas.
Rimes built a dedicated
following in Texas through her powerful a cappella performances
of the "Star Spangled Banner" at Dallas Cowboy games,
the Walt Garrison Rodeo and the National Cutting Horse Championship
in Fort Worth. In addition, Rimes opened for Randy Travis at
Starplex in Dallas, and in 1995 she made over 100 concert appearances.
At age 11, she recorded
her first album, All That, produced by Wilbur, and released
on the independent label Nor Va Jak. The LP featured a version
of "Blue," which had been sent to the Rimes by its
songwriter, Bill Mack. Mack had originally written the song
more than 30 years before and given it to Patsy Cline, who died
before she could record it. The song lay dormant until Mack
heard Rimes sing at one of her appearances, and subsequently
sent her a tape.
"My dad said
the song was too old for me," Rimes recalls. "I loved
it, though, and I kept bugging him about it. Then I got the
idea to put the yodel thing to it."
Wilbur and LeAnn
headed to Norman Petty's old studio in Clovis, N.M. (where Buddy
Holly recorded his first album) to cut her LP. Lyle Walker,
who runs the studio, became Rimes' co-manager along with Wilbur.
The first album,
sold locally in the Dallas area, also created a stir in Nashville
and sparked a bidding war among several labels for LeAnn's talents.
Ultimately, Rimes signed with Curb Records.
me her CD; I put it in and everyone just turned their heads
and said 'Who is that?'" Mike Curb says.
Rimes' first Curb
CD includes one of her personal highlights, a duet with the
legendary Eddy Arnold on his classic hit, "Cattle Call."
"It was Mike Curb's idea to do the song," she says.
"Eddy Arnold was great. He kind of adopted me as his granddaughter
and then as his daughter."
One of Blue's other
highlights is "Talk to Me," an up-tempo cut that Rimes
co-wrote (with Ron Grimes and Jon Rutherford).
"I've been writing
songs for a while, and this is the first one I've recorded,"
LeAnn commented. "I'm really excited about 'Talk to Me,'
and I'm looking forward to continuing my songwriting."
Rimes counts Barbra
Streisand, Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire, Wynonna and her parents
among her musical influences. Off the road and out of the studio,
she enjoys riding cutting horses, tennis, swimming and watching
other performer's concerts.
Rimes' latest release
on Curb Records, LeAnn Rimes, features her unique interpretation
of 11 country standards, plus one bonus track titled "Big
Deal." Expanding upon other talents, LeAnn made a guest
appearance on the hit TV series, Moesha, starring Brandy. She
served as Good Morning America's celebrity host for the American
Music Awards in January '99, and also appeared on ABC-TV's HOT
21 special, a television version of the Teen People's article
on the same subject. She appeared on Rosie O'Donnell in October
debuted her first CMT special. Rimes also appeared on Today,
Later Today and The Tonight Show.