Leann Rimes: Looking back on the last 20 years and ahead to the next 20

Darren Milby, presenter with The Bay radio, with Faye Bowness in the studio on St George's Quay.
Darren Milby, presenter with The Bay radio, with Faye Bowness in the studio on St George's Quay.
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At the age of 33 American singer Leann Rimes is celebrating 20 years since her debut album ‘Blue’.

There are not many people of her age can claim two decades in the business. On a recent trip to the UK I caught up with Leann who was in reflective mood.

“It’s been quite an interesting life,” she told me.

“And a rollercoaster ride. It’s definitely unique. I’ve had so many ups and downs but in life you’ve got to have both. I can step back now and take a look at the big picture. Career wise it’s been a great 20 years but to be honest I’m more excited about the next 20.”

Leann Rimes won a Grammy Award at the age of 14 for her powerful ballad ‘How do I live?’ That song is still very special to her.

“We’ve been touring the States this year and we decided to play around with the arrangement. And we made it into such a heart-breaking arrangement. I’ve been singing that song for years but in the new version it reduces me to tears on stage every night.”

Leann is releasing a beautiful new single called ‘The Story.’ Before our chat I was having a listen to it and the timing just seems perfect with so many heart-breaking and horrendous things going on in the world.

“I guess it’s kind of an intuitive thing. As an artist you kind of tap into certain things and I’m very empathetic in a lot of ways to people’s feelings.”

‘The Story’ is a big ballad showcasing her belting voice. “It is a love story but I look at it on so many different angles. I think for me it goes deeper than that. It’s about self-acceptance. In a way its kind of a love song to yourself. And we are in a world which is so divided and I like to think we are all part of this one connected story.”

Leann is releasing a new album later on this year. “I got to play around with dramatics on this record. I went a bit more theatrical than anything I’ve done before. But at the same time it is still rooted and that is really important to me. There is also a lot of soul which is something I’ve had in my live performances but never captured on record before.”