If it seems like LeAnn Rimes has grown up in front of our eyes, that's because she has.
The Jackson, MS-born, Garland, TX-raised, Grammy-winning artist, who released her first indie album at the age of 11, is now 21; with a list of accomplishments that belies her youth.
During her remarkable, decade-long career, Rimes has proven she is more than just "that girl with the Patsy Cline twang" that broke through with the hit song "Blue" and went on to headline several international tours and make countless TV appearances. The young veteran has had a role in a hit motion picture ( Coyote Ugly ), authored a series of children's books with her husband Dean Sheremet ( JAG and Jag's New Friend ) and is currently the spokesperson for Children's Miracle Network, a noted charity that raises funds for hospitals for young people.
Rimes' most recent Curb Records album, LeAnn Rimes Greatest Hits (To Be Continued) , includes 16 of her chart smashes, and two new tracks, including the hit track "This Love". The release is also available in a special DVD edition which includes videos, performance footage, home movies and behind-the-scenes of LeAnn Rimes' career.
Testifying to LeAnn's international following, the album has sold more than a million copies worldwide, debuting in the U.K. at #2, lodging in the Top 10 in Sweden and Germany , going platinum in Ireland and the UK, plus spending six weeks straight at the top of the charts in Taiwan.
With all she's accomplished, Rimes has her sights firmly on what lies ahead. "Turning 21 is one of those rare moments that you can take to look back on your progress and look forward to the future at the same time," she said.
Since the debut of Blue in 1996, Rimes has released seven additional albums, including two compilations of early material ('97's You Light Up My Life-Inspirational Songs and Unchained Melody/The Early Years , both of which went to #1 on Billboard 's album chart) and last year's greatest hits package. Blue earned the then-13-year-old phenom a pair of Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Country Female Vocal for the title track. Rimes also became the youngest person ever to win the Country Music Association's Horizon award and Best Country Singer. The RIAA-certified multi-platinum Blue has since gone on to sell eight million copies worldwide.
A string of hits followed, including a pair of Diane Warren compositions that were prominently featured in the soundtracks of hit films. "Can't Fight the Moonlight" was one of four songs Rimes contributed to the multi-platinum Coyote Ugly soundtrack, a film she also had a role in, spurring her interest in acting. The Coyote Ugly soundtrack spent more than 100 weeks on the country and pop charts, peaking at #1 and #10, respectively. Rimes and Warren have a great track record together: LeAnn's classic rendition of Warren 's "How Do I Live" is the longest-running single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Rimes' follow-up to Blue , 1998's Sittin' on Top of the World , went #3 pop, #2 country; '99's LeAnn Rimes peaked at #8 pop and #1 country; while 2001's I Need You cracked the pop Top 10 and once again topped the country charts. In all, five of her albums have gone to #1 on the country charts, and she has won the Billboard Award twelve times.
With the release of her studio CD, Twisted Angel in 2002, Leann has emerged as a writer and producer in her own right, dabbling in new genres like R&B/funk, blues and even dance-floor techno. Her collaborations with top-notch producer/songwriters such as Peter Amato and Gregg Pagani, resulted in hit songs like the single, "Life Goes On."
Last summer, Rimes contributed yet another Diane Warren-penned song, "We Can" to the Legally Blonde 2 soundtrack. After a spate of TV appearances on The View , Good Morning America , An American Celebration at Ford's Theater and CBS' Independence Day Special , she launched an extensive U.S. tour last July in Albuquerque .
After relocating from L.A. to Nashville with her husband, seven dogs and two cats, she launched the publication of JAG , the children's book she penned with him, illustrated by award-winning artist Richard Bernal. It told the story about a small jaguar with a big roar and a tiny secret that made her a target for teasing at school, with an autobiographical moral about resisting peer pressure, making good choices and trying new things. Jag's New Friend, the second installment in the JAG series, is set for release in August.
In September of 2003 Rimes toured Australia and New Zealand . Last year, she appeared on a special episode of 48 Hours . This year she has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show , the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest , Live with Regis & Kelly, ABC's Extreme Home Makeover and the Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn . She visited England to promote the release there in February of LeAnn Rimes Greatest Hits, and the album subsequently debuted at #2, her highest-charting record ever in the U.K.
In March, Rimes was named as "the voice" of Children's Miracle Network, serving as international spokesperson for the children's charity devoted to raising funds for children's hospitals. In making the announcement, Rimes had a private meeting with President Bush in the oval office of the White House. Rimes had previously established a therapeutic rehabilitation facility, the LeAnn Rimes Adventure Gym, at her adopted hometown Nashville's Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, part of the Children's Miracle Network.
"It has become a very rewarding experience to be involved with the children," said LeAnn. "I am inspired by their spirit and bravery. Meeting a three-year-old cancer survivor or a kindergartner with a strong new heart, all of whom have been helped by Children's Miracle Network, has motivated me to become actively involved with my time and my heart. It's a gift to be able to be of help."
But it's still the music that will continue to define LeAnn Rimes.
"I'm the same person, just at a different place in my life," she said. "I've had a lot of unique experiences and I've put them in my music."
With the first 10 years of her career, LeAnn Rimes has established an impressive track record and in the process sold 27 million albums. But the parenthetical phrase added to the title of her recent greatest hits album is probably the best clue to how she feels about her future-TO BE CONTINUED...
--- from the official LeAnn Rimes website