Forget Taylor Swift. The “Shake It Off” singer was still in kindergarten when the first teenage country music sensation to go pure pop emerged on the scene. Yes, LeAnn Rimes first showcased her impressive set of pipes at the age of 13 way back in 1996 with her effortless take on Bill Mack’s classic, “Blue.” By the end of the following year, she was a two-time Grammy Award-winning chart-topping superstar. And then, at the turn of the century, she reinvented herself as Nashville’s answer to Britney Spears.
Of course, in recent years, Rimes’ turbulent private life has overshadowed her considerable talents. Her marriage to backup dancer Dean Sheremet collapsed in the wake of her affair with her Northern Lights co-star and eventual second husband, Eddie Cibrian. The latter’s outspoken ex Brandi Glanville has ensured that the pair’s relationship is a constant source of tabloid drama. And there have been several highly publicized health battles, both mentally and physically.
But how is the one-time national sweetheart faring nearly a quarter a century after her breakthrough? Well, she’s certainly still keeping busy, that’s for sure. From unlikely business ventures and nude portraits to spiritual quests and fancy dress singing contests, here’s a look at Rimes’ life today.
LeAnn Rimes won a talent contest dressed as the sun
It always seems risky for any professional vocalist to compete with celebs from other walks of life in a singing contest. Imagine finding out that the great American public believes the likes of Bob Saget, Brian Austin Green, and Wendy Williams have better voices. Thankfully for LeAnn Rimes, she managed to avoid this ignominy in what must surely be the most unashamedly bonkers talent show ever to grace TV screens.
Yes, while dressed as the sun — one of the fourth season’s least unflattering costumes — the country star stormed to victory in The Masked Singer in 2020. Rimes had initially tried to throw the judging panel and millions of viewers at home off the scent by performing Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” in her first week. But her unmistakable tones were soon recognized with her subsequent covers of tracks by Kesha, Janis Joplin, Billie Eilish, and Brandi Carlile.
Following her triumphant run, Rimes told Variety that the whole experience had been nothing but positive: “People have known me for 25 years, and depending on where you come in on my story is what you connect with me, in your mind, who I am. This is the first time people got to feel my essence, and my voice and my gift where there was no story attached. I knew I wanted people to feel me in such deep ways and different ways and so each song had very different feelings to them.”
She wants to erase the stigma of mental health
In 2012, LeAnn Rimes checked into rehab just one day after turning 30 in an effort to deal with her battles with anxiety and depression. The star bravely discussed her stint in the Los Angeles facility during an interview on Katie just a few months later. And even in recent years, the star is still attempting to break down the stigma attached to mental health issues.
In a 2020 chat with Fox News, the “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” singer once again opened up about her time in rehab and how it greatly benefited her. She admitted, “At first I didn’t want to face my pain because I thought I would get lost in it. But I didn’t.”
The multiple Grammy winner also revealed that there was another reason why she was so initially reluctant to seek treatment: “People are so ashamed to talk about it and ask for help. But taking away the shame is so important. I had so much underlying grief, everything accumulated and I had to give in.”
LeAnn Rimes got meditative on her 11th album
Pop stars embracing their spiritual side is nothing new. See Madonna’s Earth Mother reinvention on Ray of Light, for example. But few have committed themselves as fully as LeAnn Rimes. In 2020, the Grammy winner moved even further away from her country roots by releasing an album of meditative chants.
Co-penned with regular songwriting partner and manager Darrell Brown, Chant: The Human & The Holy includes a dozen “mantras and messages of hope and remembrance.” And in a Twitter thread to promote the release of her studio effort, Rimes revealed the inspiration behind it: “For those of you who might not be familiar with my journey into this space, for the past 12 months I have been exploring new ways to connect with and utilize my voice … This project is truly a blessing in so many ways and I can’t wait for you to finally experience it.”
Rimes also told her followers how she’d like the follow-up to 2016’s Remnants to provide the same sense of comfort her own spiritual quest did: “This record features some tracks that you may recognize, alongside a handful of new chants. I hope it brings you peace and joy during these challenging times and supports you on your journey.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, due to its rather niche sound, Chant: The Human & The Holy became Rimes’ first album to miss the Billboard 200.
She embraced her Coyote Ugly past
LeAnn Rimes’ main contribution to the Ugly Coyote soundtrack was the moment where she truly shook off her wholesome country music persona. Then just 17, the star famously sang the Britney Spears-esque stomper, “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” atop a Hooters-style bar in both its accompanying music video and the film itself. And 20 years on from its release, Rimes got all nostalgic about the time she was made to wear chicken cutlets in her bra.
Yes, in 2020, the star embraced her brief foray into the sexualized musical rom-com by dropping a megamix of the four tunes she recorded for one of the new millennium’s ultimate guilty pleasures. “It’s a blast from the past,” Rimes explained to E!, adding, “And to hear all of them together … it’s its own movie in a way, you know?” The chart-topper also discussed how the film helped her on a personal level: “I think there was a piece of me that, like, so needed to come out and be a young woman, you know? And so that was kind of the ‘ta-da.'”
And Rimes isn’t averse to recreating her famous scene whenever she’s had the odd drink, either: “I did it once for fun in Aspen. They have a western store there and they have a bar upstairs, and they literally took down the barrier, started the song, and they were like, ‘Feel free.’ So my friends and I went up and re-enacted the whole thing, which was really fun.”
LeAnn Rimes launched a wellness podcast
In 2020, LeAnn Rimes followed in the footsteps of seemingly every individual with some time to kill during the pandemic. She launched her own podcast. As with her meditative album, Wholly Human tapped into the star’s new-found interest in wellness, distributed by the iHeartRadio network.
Each installment saw Rimes chat to a different like-minded soul about mental health, spirituality, and the power of healing, including life coach Ryan Weiss, breathwork teacher Ashley Neese, and The New York Times bestselling writer Lewis Howes. And the singer revealed to Forbes that same year that she hopes the podcast will enrich the lives of its subscribers: “We gain so much wisdom after we’ve come through something. Why else are we put through something unless we can turn it around and utilize it? We’re here to share our stories with others so we can all feel less alone and help those who are maybe one step behind us in the journey, to guide them on to the next phase.”
In another interview with Us Weekly, the “How Do I Live” singer admitted that there are two particular benefits to podcasting that she’s particularly enjoying: “I’m loving it because I can stay in my sweats and my workspace doesn’t move, unlike my usual workspace — my tour bus.”
She got into the candle industry
LeAnn Rimes didn’t appear to let the small matter of a global pandemic stem her creative streak. As well as recording her 11th album and launching a new podcast in 2020, the former child star somehow also found the time to maintain her sideline in candle-making.
Yes, three years previously, Rimes launched a lifestyle blog titled Soul of EverLe, which also came equipped with its own merchandise store selling everything from iPhone cases and laptop sleeves to tote bags and hoodies. But the singer seems most proud of the range of candles that she designed and hand-poured herself, as she explained to WSJ: “It’s a whole process. I create a chant for each candle. I record the chant, the chant gets played as the candles are being made and drying, I actually chant over them too so they’re each tuned to a specific frequency. It’s such a passion of mine.”
Luckily for the workaholic, Rimes has had some assistance with her entrepreneurial activities — namely her husband Eddie Cibrian — as she explained to Us Weekly: “If I’m not in our little makeshift workshop coming up with a new scent, Eddie and I are busy packing up the orders and shipping them out. I love being so hands on with every aspect of making these and have been so overwhelmed by how deeply they’ve been received.”
She posed nude while detailing her battle with psoriasis
Alongside her mental health issues, LeAnn Rimes has also had to deal with several physical ones, too. She’s continually battled a disorder named temporomandibular joint disorder, even dislocating her jaw live on stage in 2014. And in 2020, the psoriasis she’d previously had under control came back with a vengeance.
Instead of trying to hide her skin condition from the public, Rimes instead decided to be as open as possible. Not only did she pen an essay about her struggles for Glamour magazine, but she also posed nude for several photos, which showed how her flare-ups had affected her appearance. The Grammy winner wrote: “Will these photos change the way I live? Will I wear shorts out to the grocery store? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that it’s amazing how small we can keep ourselves. When you finally allow yourself to step outside of what you’ve been caging in, the whole world opens up. There’s freedom in even just putting one foot outside the door.”
Rimes also believes that the global situation in 2020 was responsible for the psoriasis returning: “All hell broke loose in the world — and inside of me, as I’m sure it did for so many other people amid this pandemic. Suddenly I went from doing what I love, and being surrounded by people, to just hanging around the house in sweats. Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, and with so much uncertainty happening, my flare-ups came right back.”
LeAnn Rimes' marriage to Eddie Cibrian is stronger than ever
LeAnn Rimes’ relationship with Eddie Cibrian has never run particularly smoothly. After all, they got together when both parties were wedded to other people, and as a result, their private lives have been constantly plastered across the tabloids. And then, in 2012, Rimes’ checked herself into rehab to deal with the mental health issues she admits put a significant strain on her second marriage.
“Eddie and my friends and those close to me experienced pain through my eyes,” Rimes told People magazine in 2020, adding, “They weren’t exempt from it.” The “Blue” singer also revealed that she only agreed to seek treatment once she acknowledged that she was becoming too reliant on her support team: “When we’re in our own world and in our depression and anxiety, it can be very isolating, and a very self-absorbed situation. I had a lot of co-dependency.”
Thankfully, Rimes’ stint in the facility, and her continuing recovery at home, helped to strengthen the bond she shares with the former Sunset Beach actor: “By being able to care for my own body and not expecting Eddie to do it for me, we’ve been able to become better partners. Eddie is a rock. And we’re not so enmeshed. We can build our own selves up and I think that’s so important. We’re stronger than ever.”
Her relationship with Brandi Glanville is still turbulent
It’s hard to keep up with the nature of Brandi Glanville’s relationship with her ex-husband Eddie Cibrian and his second wife, LeAnn Rimes. One minute, they all appear to be playing happy families at Christmastime, the next they’re squabbling for all the world to see on social media.
In the early days of the 2020 pandemic, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star took to Twitter to voice her displeasure about childcare arrangements: “It’s very crazy that I’ve been alone for this entire week and I can’t be with my children because it happens not to be my week in our divorce settlement. I think that this is a time with special circumstances and I should be able to be with them.” Tagging in both Cibrian and Rimes, she then added, “This is when people’s true colors show … How truthful are your words??!!”
The pair didn’t respond to Glanville’s tweets, but that didn’t stop the reality TV regular from continuing the drama on another platform. In an Instagram post quoted by Us Weekly, she wrote, “I got the boys back today. I still will never understand why we all don’t stay together in [their] mansion with me in the guest house so we can both be with our kids. Guess I’m just further involved or removed.”
LeAnn Rimes is fighting for dental rights
You perhaps wouldn’t expect a multiple Grammy-winning country singer to be on the frontline of a dental rights movement. But LeAnn Rimes knows all about the perils of the tooth care industry, having sued one particular dentist in 2013 for the below-par veneers which caused her significant “pain, gum inflammation and chronic gum bleeding.”
Rimes later dropped the case, but that didn’t stop her from getting involved with a protest against a new “unfair” dental care law seven years later. According to TMZ, the star sent a letter to Steve Glazer, the California State Senator, to oppose the proposed Dental Practice Act. This would only allow patients to receive the telehealth treatment required once they’d undergone an X-ray.
Rimes argued that this was not only putting people at further risk of contracting COVID-19 but would deter individuals from low-income areas from receiving the dental care they needed. And the “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” vocalist wasn’t the only famous face to fire off a similar strongly-worded letter. In fact, Scandal actress Kerry Washington’s objection resulted in the previous in-person visit stipulation being removed. However, Rimes was keen to state that the replacement X-ray rule was just as potentially harmful.
LeAnn Rimes has a balanced diet
Ever wondered what LeAnn Rimes tucked into during her year of making candles, recording podcasts, and winning talent contests in costume? Well, wonder no more. In 2020 the Grammy winner broke down her daily meal schedule in an interview with Women’s Health. And she had some wise words for readers: “Nourishment usually looks like high-quality, healthy, whole foods, but sometimes nourishment is the cake, the chips, the pizza, and the mac and cheese. It’s all a balance.”
Rimes typically starts the day with a smoothie packed with greens (“My body actually craves it”). Her lunch, however, doesn’t take as much preparation considering it’s simply the food that hasn’t been eaten the night before: “Our leftovers range from mushroom and poblano tacos in almond flour tortillas, to smoky white bean and greens soup, to a delicious chicken and veggie stir fry.”
The “Looking Through Your Eyes” singer isn’t averse to the odd snack, either, with apples, Bada Beans, and energy bars her particular favorites alongside a slightly less healthier option: Coco Bakes’ Grain-Free Cinnamon Sugar Buns. And alongside copious amounts of water throughout the day, Rimes will also partake in the odd glass of wine, too.
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