In 1996, LeAnn Rimes burst out of nowhere with her debut single, "Blue," which immediately captured the attention of country fans across America. It wasn't just the fact that her rich, powerful vocals were amazing. Born Aug. 28, 1982, LeAnn was only 13 years old yet sang with a maturity well beyond her years.
LeAnn's rise was, in part, due to meeting Dallas disc jockey and record promoter Bill Mack. Mack was impressed by her talents, despite her young age. He took her under his wing and began cultivating a plan to break her into the mainstream. At the heart of his plan was the heart-wrenching ballad "Blue" which LeAnn laced with soaring vocals. Mack originally wrote the song in the '60s with Patsy Cline in mind to record it. Ironically, LeAnn would draw numerous comparisons to the late Cline as fans and critics alike compared the similarities between the two singers' blistering vocal styles.
"Blue" left LeAnn anything but as the song catapulted the teen to superstardom. She became the youngest nominee and winner of the Country Music Association's coveted Horizon Award in 1997 and the Grammy for Best New Artist, a rare feat for a country artist in a largely pop-dominated category. Blue also included the No. 1 single "One-Way Ticket."
In 1997, she released You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, containing the smash "How Do I Live." Her third album, Sittin' on Top of the World, was issued in 1998. She released a self-titled fourth album a year later and the popular I Need You album in early 2001. By the end of the decade, LeAnn visited the Top 10 three more times with "Commitment," "Nothin' New Under the Moon" and "Big Deal." In 2000, "I Need You" appeared in the television movie Jesus and "Can't Fight the Moonlight" was heard in Coyote Ugly. I Need You was released in 2002 followed by Twisted Angel. LeAnn released Greatest Hits in 2003 followed by a Christmas album in 2004. Her songs reflected her place in life as a young, married woman. In 2005, she released This Woman which produced the Top 5 hits "Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense" and the emotionally charged "Probably Wouldn't Be This Way." In 2007, Rimes released Family, with the single "Nothing Better to Do." After four years, LeAnn released Lady And Gentlemen in 2011, a covers album on which she served as a producer with Vince Gill and Darrell Brown.
In 2013, LeAnn released her most personal album to date, Spitfire. "I took a step back from the years of work and came back to the essence of what music means to me," she says. "I made this album for the pure joy of making music, and I think the power of that shows. In this album, I’m speaking more honestly than I ever have, from the truth and pain and love in my life and hoping that people connect with those emotions."
LeAnn continues, "Spitfire covers a range of emotions that I’ve experienced in my lifetime, from anger to love, from frustration to letting go. My co-producer and co-writer Darrell and I talked about telling that story in chronological order, but that didn’t work sonically, so Darrell said, “It’s the truth…in no particular order.” And isn’t that what life is about?"
"I took a step back from the years of work and came back to the essence of what music means to me."