Famous country singer LeAnn Rimes first hit the music industry when she became the youngest artist to win two Grammy Awards, thanks to her album Blue (1996). She continued her success with the multi-platinum recording titled You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs (1997), in which the frequently played single “How Do I Live” broke the Billboard record chart for topping the chart for 32 weeks in a row. Rimes is also known as the singer of “One-Way Ticket (Because I Can)” and “Written in the Stars.”
In between her steady music career, Rimes branched out to acting and had her TV debut in Holiday in Your Heart (1997), which was partly based on her self-written autobiography with the same title. She also made guest appearances in such TV series as “Days of Our Lives” (1998) and “American Dreams” (2003). On the big screen, Rimes debuted as a cameo in Coyote Ugly (2000), in addition to providing the Blockbuster Entertainment Award-winning soundtrack titled “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.”
“I needed to become something besides the star everybody had built me up to be.” LeAnn Rimes
Off screen, Rimes and her husband Dean Sheremet have written a number of children’s books including “Jag” One of the 1999 Teen People Magazine’s “21 Hottest Stars Under 21,” Rimes is also involved in charitable events. She donated her artist fee and royalties from the single “I Need You” to build a wing at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Tennessee. On September 3, 2005, she performed a three-hour concert as a benefit for the Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina. Rimes is also a spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network, a well-known organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals.
On the other hand, in May 2000, Rimes sued her father Wilbur, Wilbur’s partner, and her co-manager. She stated the three men stole more than $7 million from her salary. Three months after the lawsuit, Rimes went in for a medical check-up and was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus. As for her private life, Rimes was romantically involved with actor Andrew Keegan (1998-2001) before marrying dancer Dean Sheremet on February 23, 2002.
A Christmas Carol
Childhood and Family:
The only daughter of Wilbur and Belinda (divorced in 1997), Margaret LeAnn Rimes was born on August 28, 1982, in Jackson, Mississippi. Young LeAnn began to show off her extraordinary talent in singing before even reaching the age of two. A year after moving to Garland, Texas, 7-year-old LeAnn made her stage debut in a Dallas musical production of “A Christmas Carol.”
LeAnn was educated in a home-school program from Texas Tech University. In addition, she had tutors who occasionally accompanied her on tours.
LeAnn met her husband, dancer Dean Sheremet, in May 2001. On December 14, 2001, she announced their engagement and they were married on February 23, 2002. The marriage was to take place in Santa Barbara, California, but was actually held in Dallas, Texas, so LeAnn’s grandfather could walk her down the aisle.
“Me and my husband don’t really do the drugs and rock’n’roll thing. We don’t do crazy stuff like that. We’re pretty mellow people.” LeAnn Rimes
You Light Up My Life
“I’m not an overnight success. I’ve been at this since I was 6.” LeAnn Rimes
After her stage debut in a Dallas musical production of “A Christmas Carol,” young LeAnn Rimes became a one-time winner of Star Search, a competition for junior vocalists, when she was 8. She soon had her stage performances recorded by her father, who decided to develop her potential and become her manager. With her father as her manager, Rimes established herself as a professional country singer by making an album debut at the age of eleven. Produced by her father under an independent label, All That was released in 1993. The album spawned her signature single “Blue.” The album, which was available only in Dallas local stores, apparently received an enthusiastic response from its listeners.
Rimes achieved further victory when she launched the sophomore album Blue (1996). Its re-released single “Blue” went to the top ten on the US Country chart. The album burned up the charts and stayed on top for twenty-two weeks, selling three million copies by February 1997. Receiving critical appreciation, Blue netted two Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, making Rimes the youngest performer to receive the award. In addition, the singer took home three Academy of Country Music awards and received a Horizon award from the Country Music Association.
Her achievement was soon followed by the chart-ripping album Unchained Melody: The Early Years (1997). Rimes continued to soar with her fourth recording titled You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs (1997). Following its simultaneous debut on three Billboard charts (Pop, Country and Contemporary Christian), the album achieved triple-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its single “How Do I Live” currently holds the Billboard chart record of 32 consecutive weeks at No.1 and the track “You Light Up My Life” passed the 200-week mark on the Top Country Singles Sales Charts.
Rimes was handed several awards, including a TNN/Music City News, a Country Music Association, an American Music, and a Lone Star Film & Television award.
A multi-talented performer, Rimes headed to the screen and made her TV debut by playing herself in the small screen drama Holiday in Your Heart (1997), a story partially based on Rimes’ self-written autobiographical novel, “Holiday in Your Heart.” It was ensued by her guest appearance in an episode of the TV series “Days of Our Lives” (1998) before the launching of the platinum album Sittin’ On Top Of The World, in 1998. The album featured the single “Looking Through Your Eyes,” which was made into a soundtrack for the animated motion picture Quest for Camelot (1998).
After her self-titled album in 1999, Rimes released I Need You (2000), with the hit single “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” The track became a soundtrack for the big screen drama Coyote Ugly (2000), and led to Rimes’ big screen debut as a cameo in the movie. Gaining both critical and commercial recognition, the single became a multi-platinum seller and won a Blockbuster Entertainment for Favorite Song from a Movie. Meanwhile, the album also received American Music and Blockbuster Entertainment nominations. The album also saw her collaborate with Elton John for the track “Written in the Stars.”
Rimes continued to provide soundtracks for motion pictures like Driven (2001), View from the Top (2003) and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003). She also went back to acting and played the supporting role of Connie Francis in an episode of the TV series “American Dreams” (2003). The singer continued racing up the charts with her next recordings: God Bless America (2001), Twisted Angel (2002), Greatest Hits (2003), The Best Of (2004) and What A Wonderful World (2004).
Recently, the country singer released an album titled This Woman (2005), spawning the single “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way,” whose dark video was on heavy rotation. She also co-wrote four songs on the album: “Something’s Gotta Give,” “When This Woman Loves a Man,” “Afraid to Fall” and “I Got It Bad” (co-wrote with her husband). This Woman later received gold certification for being the No.3 album in the US.
Rimes is set to release a new album, Whatever We Wanna, on June 5, 2006. She will co-write the majority of the content, along with songwriters Darrel Brown and Dennis Matkosky. Preceding the album release, the single “And It Feels Like” was launched on May 29, 2006.
- Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Song from a Movie (Internet Only), Coyote Ugly, 2001
- Lone Star Film & Television: Rising Star Actress, 1998
- American Music: Favorite New Artist, 1997
- Country Music Association: Horizon Award, 1997
- Grammy: Best New Artist, 1997
- Grammy: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Blue, 1997
- TNN/Music City News: Star of Tomorrow – Female, 1997
- Academy of Country Music: Top New Female Vocalist, 1996
- Academy of Country Music: Single of the Year, 1996
- Academy of Country Music: Song of the Year, 1996