LeAnn Rimes quickly became a household name and country music success story when, at the age of 13 her first album Blue, became a huge hit. The “little girl,” with the huge three-octave voice, is arguably one of country music’s biggest success stories. Her list of musical accomplishments rivals that of any country music legend. Rimes paved the way for younger country music stars to step into the spotlight. With 11 studio albums, and multiple hit songs under her belt, Rimes has been working hard during her career that spans almost two decades. With no sign of slowing down, Rimes is still one of country music’s most sought-after acts.
Albums, movies, books, television, and philanthropy the 32 year old has done more in her career than most other artists who started out at such a young age. Growing up can be tough. Teenage years are when we do the most growth. Try growing up as a teenager in the entertainment industry. Remember all the mistakes you made as a 15 year old? Try making those same mistakes as a 15 year old with platinum selling albums. With great success, comes a ton of negative backlash. With the recent release of her Christmas album, One Christmas: Chapter 1 I have noticed a trend with Rimes. As I read reviews of her recent album, comment after comment, people were making the most horrible remarks about her, and her music. Since day one, Rimes has constantly been the subject of negative musical and tabloid conversation. So why do we choose to hate on Rimes?
It has been highly publicized that Bill Mack originally penned Rimes’ first hit, “Blue” for the legendary Patsy Cline. Rimes has stated since day one that Cline is a huge influence in her vocal styling and musical passion. With Rimes recording “Blue,” as well as handfuls of Cline’s biggest hits, fans of Cline’s constantly harp on Rimes for trying to be “the next Patsy.” Rimes has done nothing short of pay respect to the legend and her music. Musically Rimes manages to grow, and yet still preserve her roots of country music. This must make Rimes a simple talentless copycat who can’t come up with her own material and has to steal songs from our beloved country legends.
Rimes’ original recording contract is often referred to as the “worst contract in country music.” At the age of 13, her parents signed with Curb records on her behalf. Ill-advised by managers and her father, she was bound into a lengthy contract that demanded countless albums from her. In November 2000, five years into her original contract with some professional and personal growth, Rimes wanted to revise her contract. She set out a legal battle to ensure a fair and favorable outcome. In 2001, the battle ended with a new contract between Rimes and Asylum-Curb Records. This must make Rimes an ungrateful and demanding diva who always has to get what she wants.
After an accounting investigation initiated by Rimes’ mother, it was discovered that her former manager Lyle Walker and her father Wilbur Rimes had taken advantage of Rimes’ fortune to the tune of over seven million dollars. In May 2000, Rimes started a legal battle with her father to properly acquire the funds that were rightfully hers. It did not take long before the headlines and tabloids were getting out of control with negativity. The legal battles settled in 2002 with an undisclosed amount, and an eventual reconciliation with her father. However this must make Rimes a greedy brat who does not respect her parents and has no sense of family or loyalty.
An avid athlete and runner, Rimes has graced the cover of Shape magazine and other fitness magazines over the span of her career. Rimes always has expressed her enjoyment for eating healthy and working out. Often taunted by media about her “baby fat” in her younger years, Rimes has turned to fitness and continues to maintain an excellent and healthy figure. Rimes’ attributes her physical fitness to her overall physical and mental well-being. Frequently “flaunting” her well-earned body on social media, magazines, and fitness events must mean Rimes has multiple eating disorders and is a narcissistic, self-absorbed artist. She is probably skinny from all the drugs and alcohol she consumes, too.
Rimes married dancer, Dean Sheremet at the young age of 20. After a seven year marriage it came to an end when Rimes had met actor Eddie Cibrian during the filming of Northern Lights, a made-for-TV movie that Rimes and Cibrian worked on together. Cibrian and Rimes quickly ended their existing marriages in the Summer of 2009. Despite huge amounts of negative publicity, ugly headlines, and tabloid scandals the two continued to date and were eventually married in April 2011 at a private ceremony. Rimes has since stated, “I take responsibility for everything I’ve done. I hate that people got hurt, but I don’t regret the outcome.” A humble reply by any standards, but Rimes is the first person in the entertainment industry to get a divorce and remarry the person she left her husband for. For this we must not let her have any success ever again.
The youngest artist to win a Grammy, multiple platinum selling albums, philanthropic acts of kindness, supporting LGBT rights and human rights, and countless generous acts, Rimes has never said “No” to a good cause. No matter what Rimes does, we cannot stop ourselves from throwing proverbial stones at her. Again, I ask the question of “why?” Since day one, Rimes has had such a humble and personable demeanor. Rimes has managed to stay professional her whole career. Shying away from an industry constantly fueled by drugs and alcohol, Rimes has stayed clean, and been a great role model for young artists. One of Country Music’s most remarkable musical talents, Rimes has consistently put out great music, album after album, year after year.
Are we that jealous of her long term success that we secretly want to destroy it by constantly running lies about her in the headlines? Do we really need to be burning her CDs and boycotting album releases because she got a divorce? Should we make her feel guilty because she works hard to have what we consider a “great” body by our unattainable standards in media? The answer is no. Rimes is no different from countless others in the world. She has an amazing vocal gift and that should be the end of it. Should Rimes release and album of 30-second songs that sound like farm animals, I would probably give that album a negative review, but that does not mean we should obsess about her personal choices and set her career out to sea. At 32, Rimes has a long and lengthy career ahead of her still. I look forward to many more albums, tours, and musical ventures from Rimes for years to come.