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Music / LeAnn Rimes

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A Country Music singer known for breaking out when she was only 13, but also surviving into adulthood as a country-pop star.

Margaret LeAnn Rimes began singing as a child and through the assistance of songwriter and DJ Bill Mack, signed to Curb Records as a teenager. Rimes's debut single "Blue" was a smash hit, leading to the release of her debut album. Also coming from the album was her only #1 country hit to date, "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)".

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Her biggest hit came in 1997 with "How Do I Live", a Diane Warren-penned ballad that was never even put on an album, yet remained one of the biggest selling singles of any genre. Interspersed with her hot country albums were a series of compilations, and soundtrack cuts to spare: "Looking Through Your Eyes" from Quest for Camelot, "I Need You" from Jesus: Music from and Inspired by the Epic-Mini-Series, and "Can't Fight the Moonlight" from Coyote Ugly. She moved entirely to pop with minimal success on Twisted Angel, but by 2004, she returned to her country roots with the more mature This Woman. This album and followup Family both produced a few country hits, such as "Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense", "Probably Wouldn't Be This Way", and "Something's Gotta Give". 2011 brought Lady & Gentlemen, a concept album featuring her singing female-driven renditions of male-oriented country songs. While her subsequent albums have been prone to delays and low-charting singles, she has continued to record well into her adulthood, marred only by a couple minor incidents (a lawsuit against her father and producer, Wilbur C. Rimes, label issues typical of Curb Records artists, and an affair with actor Eddie Cibrian among them). A 20-year contract with Curb ended in 2016, leading her to move to RCA Records in 2017.

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Due to the contrast of her age and powerful voice, Rimes was often compared to Tanya Tucker and Brenda Lee, two other country ladies who began in their teens.

Albums:

  • Blue (1996)
  • Unchained Melody: The Early Years (1997)
  • You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs (1997)
  • Sittin' on Top of the World (1998)
  • LeAnn Rimes (1999)
  • I Need You (2001)
  • Twisted Angel (2002)
  • What a Wonderful World (2004)
  • This Woman (2005)
  • Whatever We Wanna (2006)
  • Family (2007)
  • Lady & Gentlemen (2011)
  • Spitfire (2013)
  • Remnants (2016)

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Tropes:

  • Child Pop Star: Early in her career.
  • Christmas Songs: What a Wonderful World. She also recorded the original song "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart" as a bonus track for special versions of Blue sold at Target stores during the 1996 Christmas season.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: Done on her Lady & Gentlemen album, which has her singing female-oriented covers of songs that originally took a male perspective.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The subject of "How Do I Live", in which the narrator questions how she'll be able to move on without her lover.
  • Former Child Star: A rare successful one.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: "I Need You" came from a mini-series about Jesus, but the lyrics are open-ended enough that it's hard to tell that the title even refers to "needing" Jesus in one's life.
  • Talking to the Dead: "Probably Wouldn't Be This Way" sounds like a breakup song at first, but the Wham Line "When they see me 'round here talking to this stone" in the second verse makes it clear that this is the actual subject of the song.
  • Wanderlust Song: "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)" is about wanting to take a "one-way ticket" to anywhere to cure her wanderlust.
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