By Leslie D. Rose
Typecasting happens to the best of artists, but at age 31, LeAnn Rimes – country music’s youngest star since Tanya Tucker – says she is breaking out of being the little girl with the big voice… because she is now a very grown woman.
With husband Eddie Cibrian and two stepchildren, Rimes said her tour life has morphed into nearly weekend-only work. On June 21, Baton Rouge can catch one of those elusive shows at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel.
“My touring landscape has changed tremendously,” Rimes said. “I would be on the road for what seemed like years when I was a kid, but now I’m older and I want to do other things. I want to be home and live life to influence what I create.”
Rimes’ career began when she was 13, and for 18 years she spread her infectiously soulful voice all over the world. These days, with a desire to be home more, it’s more than just her touring schedule that’s changed.
She has admittedly become a full time balancing act as well.
“It gets really complicated,” she said.
Rimes also acknowledges what she called drama leading up to her marriage to the Hollywood hunk best known for his role as Cole Deschanel in the series Sunset Beach.
“I think we have pretty much been through everything we could have gone through together,” she said. “I think we definitely learned to handle the difficult situations together which have definitely made us stronger.”
The two met on the set of Northern Lights in 2009 while each was already married. Cibrian filed for divorce in August that year, with Rimes following suit that September. Both divorces were final in 2010 and the two wed in 2011, all of which was made very public and has sparked an ongoing media feud between Rimes and Cibrian’s ex wife, Real Housewives star Brandi Glanville.
Rimes and Cibrian will soon also become reality TV stars with the upcoming show “LeAnn & Eddie” that will premiere on July 17 on VH1.
“We are taking our lives back,” she said. “You are going to sit there and say whatever you are going to say about us, I might as well take the joke from you.”
The show will dive firsthand into the celebrity couple’s life showing them taking vocal jabs at Glanville, talking about their fertility issues and also clips of the two enjoying married and family life.
“It takes a lot to build a family and all the things that go along with that,” she said. “We’ve fallen into a really good groove of feeling like a family ourselves. We are really integrated and safe and comfortable which is nice.”
Aside from the upcoming show, touring and family life, Rimes’ contract with Curb Records has been fulfilled as of her latest project Spitfire and she’ll soon be releasing a Christmas EP that will be done in two parts leading up to her next album which is slated to be a full-length holiday record in 2015.
But first, Spitfire.
“This record was basically me opening up on so many
levels,” she said. “Speaking of things that I think so many
people are afraid to speak about.”
Rimes said that as a songwriter she believes it is her job to be the voice on topics that a lot of people are not able to be.
The 14-track album showcases a range of emotions Rimes said she has experienced in her lifetime, from anger to love, from frustration to letting go. According to her website, the project is the truth…in no particular order.
“It was terrifying and liberating all at the same time,” she said. “I think there’s every human emotion on that album that you could possibly dream up and feel.”
Rimes said the spilling of her truth on record helped her to heal old wounds.
“I’ve learned to reflect on the positive things,” she said. “I think I’m never afraid to admit that things have gotten difficult – it’s my journey and it’s an interesting one. I think my whole world is opening up now.”
Starting a career as a preteen, Rimes said she would often hear people say that she didn’t understand the words or topics she was singing about.
“I guess it was true then, but now I think I have pretty much have lived everything that I have sung truly.”
Emotion aside, during this tour Rimes had at least one show where she didn’t do much from Spitfire, rather she performed all of her dance records at Orlando’s Parliament House, a gay club, in preparation for an upcoming dance compilation album.
“That show was amazing,” she said. “I had the best time. I have literally not felt that high from performing on stage in so long. When you do something for the first time and you nail it, it’s like a high you’ve never felt before. That show ended at 1 a.m. and I didn’t go to sleep until 4 a.m.”
But Baton Rouge, the illustrious home to Bayou Country Superfest and thousands of true country music fans will have a much different show.
“I love interacting with the crowd and people talking to me,” she said. “I have a set list but I don’t always go by it so it depends on the crowd and if they start yelling out something that we know then we’ll play it. It definitely has a free flow to it and it’s definitely going to be one big hangout.”
And after the show, after the summer touring when Rimes is home with family, she’ll still be infiltrating the music world and keeping her fans occupied. First up on the list will be finding a new record label home.
“What’s next – more music for sure,” she said. “I was with the same label for 20 years and now I’m looking for someone who gets me at 31, not 13. I’m in creative mode and I’m deciding what I want to do with my life.”
Doors at 7pm; Show at 8pm.