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LeAnn Rimes Interview

Leann Rimes; Eddie Cibrian
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Entertainment reporter David Kleinman brings us an up close and personal look at the former teenage country diva turned pop culture icon LeAnn Rimes.

If the best country songs are written about the worst heartaches, LeAnn Rimes’s greatest tunes may already be written. Rimes has her doubts, but it seems she’s finally finding her footing.

On the professional front, one of Rimes’ biggest battles will be left in the dust this month with the dissolution of her 20-year contract with Curb Records. It’s the first time in her career she’ll be completely calling the shots and at the age of 31, it’s not a moment too soon.

“I’m excited but it’s scary because I’ve been with them since I didn’t even know what a contract even was, I didn’t know what I was signing. I think about it now, it’s freeing. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to go out now, as a woman and as an artist, and find partners that have the same mindset and goals.”

Picking her own personnel is going to be the first step Rimes takes of her new-found career independence.

“I’m definitely looking forward to doing interviewing, I guess in a way,” she giggled “This time around I’m not saying ‘please take me’ which is an amazing thing. Most people don’t have 20 years in the business and are still relevant enough to go and negotiate a contract so I guess I feel blessed with that.”

In an unfortunate tradition that’s befallen child stars since the birth of the industry, Rimes came of age to discover that her father and former manager stole roughly eight million dollars from her earnings, allotting themselves unreasonable fees and taking advantage of her label. She certainly won’t fall for that same mistake again.

“I think I could actually write a contract now. I’ve literally..I think I’ve read mine enough and gone through it a million times I could write one on my own by now. I think this time around that’s good!”

Despite the greed that her early shot into stardom attracted, Rimes doesn’t regret starting so young.

“I don’t think anyone could of stopped me from doing it when I did, I was in this trajectory in my life. I love to sing, I don’t even know if I knew what ‘pursuing it’ at that age meant. It was my release and my gift and it’s what I love doing. Emotionally, as an adult I wish that I hadn’t gone through some of the things I did as a kid and had a normal childhood but I have and I’m here now, I’m still breathing and still somewhat sane,” she laughed.

Somewhat sane, despite some who may be wishing Rimes to go off the rails. When Rimes starred as Eddie Cibrian’s love interest in the 2009 Lifetime movie ‘Northern Lights’ it didn’t take much work for the pair to find chemistry on-camera, or off. It was the beginning of a beautiful love story except for one thing…they we’re both already married, to other people.

Cibrian’s former wife, Brandi Glanville, hardly kept quiet on the subject. The outspoken mom of two launched herself into the public eye from the notoriety, grabbing a role on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and writing a Chelsea Handler-esque memoir “Drinking and Tweeting,” all about the affair.

Rimes, herself responded to the situation like all good country girls do: She sat down and wrote a song about it. The result is her tenth studio album,
“Spitfire.” If the title doesn’t say it all about Rimes’s current state of mind, she is more than happy to fill in the blanks.

“I think I was beyond open for this record. Certain situations came with deep feelings I didn’t even know I had until I wrote them. There was fear at first but then I realized everyone in the last five years has written a whole other story and it’s way worse than I could of ever imagined writing and it’s my actual reality. It was very liberating to actually tell the truth.”

With all the attention paid to her personal life, Rimes is thrilled for the accolades her work has been receiving.

“[Spitfire] stands on its own outside of the story I’m trying to set the record straight with,” Rimes continued. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an album that was so well-received and I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad review of it which was shocking! It was pretty amazing to hear fans that relate to it. It’s life, it’s not always pretty.”

Pretty or not she’ll continue to sing her truth, including a date at the Eisenhower Hall Theater this Saturday.

“Sometimes Spitfire is hard to listen to, sometimes it’s hard to sing but I think that’s where I make people feel something, even if it’s uncomfortable I’ve done my job. My career’s always been my focus and it’s a struggle. It’s nice to come home to a family that is a little nutty at times but definitely grounding for me. It brings a whole new element to what I do, to how I do things and write. It’s pretty amazing to have that love in my life,” she said.

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