American Country/Pop singer, b. 1982
LeAnn Rimes was born on August 28, 1982, in Jackson, Mississippi and was raised in Garland, Texas. She began singing as a child, performing at local talent shows, and appearing on Star Search. At age 11, she released her first album, All That, which was released on Nor Va Jak, a small independent label. The album was a success in the Dallas area. She signed with Curb Records in 1995.
In 1996, Rimes' first major-label single was released. "Blue" was a song originally written for (but never recorded by) Patsy Cline, and drew comparisons to Cline. The song was a top ten hit on the Billboard country chart and crossed over to the pop chart, peaking at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first major-label album, Blue was released that year. It eventually went multi-platinum.
1997 was a huge year for LeAnn Rimes. She won the Grammy for Best New Artist that year. Two hit albums were released that year: Unchained Melody: The Early Years (which consisted of songs recorded before the release of Blue), and You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs (which made the pop, country and contemporary Christian album charts). Between those two albums, she released the biggest single of her career, the Diane Warren-penned "How Do I Live". The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and spent a record-shattering 69 weeks on the chart. In addition, it was a #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. Though it did not make the top 40 portion of Billboard's main country chart (which rates songs based on country radio airplay), it spent a whopping 32 weeks at #1 on the Country Singles Sales chart (a record for any Billboard singles chart) and spent over 200 weeks on that chart. To date, the single has sold over three million copies in the U.S. Even while "How Do I Live" was still in the Hot 100, Rimes scored another hit on the chart, reaching #34 with "You Light Up My Life", a cover of Debby Boone's smash hit.
In 1998, Sittin' On Top Of The World was released. Though its success paled in comparison to its predecessors, it still spawned the top 20 pop hit "Looking Through Your Eyes", and the top 5 country hit "Commitment".
In 1999, her next album, which was self-titled, was released. It consisted almost entirely of covers of country music standards. It spawned the hit "Big Deal", which was not a cover.
Rimes appeared in the 2000 motion picture Coyote Ugly, and recorded four songs for the soundtrack, including the hit single "Can't Fight The Moonlight". She also recorded the song "I Need You" for the sountrack to the television miniseries Jesus that year. These two songs were included in the 2001 album I Need You, which consisted mostly of songs previously recorded for soundtracks and songs that didn't make the cut for her previous albums. Controversy surrounded this release as Rimes did not think it was representative of her best work.
Discography (US major-label album releases only):
- 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
- God Bless America, scheduled for October 16, 2001
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955-1999