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LeAnn Rimes Returns to Country Roots with <i>This Woman</i>

  • Mary Morningstar

LeAnn Rimes was only 13 years old when she burst onto the Country music scene nearly a decade ago. Now 22, the world-famous singer recently appeared on VOA's live music show Border Crossings to talk about her new album.

LeAnn Rimes says she's seen a lot of singers come and go during the 10 years she's been making records, and she feels blessed that her career has endured the changing trends in Country music.

She mentions the word 'change' often when talking about her new, appropriately-titled album, This Woman.

"You know, being a woman now, that changes everything, that whole dynamic," she says. "I wrote a lot of my own songs on this record. I think this is the first time people are really seeing me as an all-around artist, instead of just this kid with this big voice. So, things have changed a lot. This is the first time as an artist, I think, that when people listen to this album, they're really taking a piece of me away with them. It's a very personal record and I honestly could not have made a better record at this point of my life. It's so great, you know, I'm known for my ballads, but I feel this record is really happy and uplifting and that's really where I'm at in my life."

According to LeAnn, much of that happiness comes from her three-year marriage to dancer Dean Sheremet.

After achieving pop crossover success with songs like "How Do I Live Without You" and "I Need You," LeAnn returned to her Country roots on This Woman.

"I really wanted to go back and make a really organic album and sing songs that I felt deep in my soul and write songs that were about my life and meant something to me. I think there really is a lot of soul on this record that sounds a lot like the rock ," Rimes explains. "And the country and the blues eras of the '60s and '70s. It's mainly a Country album, but it's my kind of Country music. I've experimented [while I was] growing up all through this last decade and I think this is the first time I've really found my own sound. That's a mixture of a little bit of everything, but mainly Country, but a little bit of rock and a little bit of blues."

Before recording her latest album, Leann and her husband wrote two children's books. Although the busy 22-year-old is focused on her career, she hints that she might be reading those books to her own children in the not-too-distant future.

"You know, this is the first time I really felt so confident about my music and my writing so I'm excited to see where I'm going to head with the next album. And, in the next five years of my life, hopefully I'll be a mom and enjoy that side of things too," she says.

Before heading out on tour to promote This Woman, LeAnn will host the third season of Nashville Star, a televised Country music talent competition similar to pop music's American Idol competition.

The debut single from This Woman, "Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense", rocketed up the Country chart and became LeAnn's first Top 10 hit since 2000.

"This song, I thought, was so fun as a first single because it's just a lighthearted way to really introduce this record," Rimes explains. " 'Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense' is so honest, I mean, it's so true. We'll have questions about love forever and we'll never understand it completely, so I think this is something everyone will be able to relate to."

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