New Castle News

Closer Look

October 4, 2012

LeAnn Rimes looks forward to Westminster show, and sharing ‘heart and soul’

NEW CASTLE — For a big star, sometimes it’s hard to touch base in a small town.

But visiting Westminster College on Oct.11 shouldn’t be a problem for country singer LeAnn Rimes, who loves the moments she gets to spend with a smaller crowd.

“I get to focus more on singing with a smaller audience and it feels more one-on-one, like you’re in my living room hanging out with me,” Rimes said. “There’s a real connection with my fans when you come to a show like this because I feel like they really get to know me.”

Rimes, who became the youngest person ever to win a Grammy in 1998 at the age of 13, has learned a thing or two about performing over the years. At her smaller shows, she likes to go with the flow of the audience and not stick to a stringent set list.

“I kind of just play to the crowd and what they’re digging at the moment,” she said.

Rimes’ stop in New Wilmington is a part of a larger tour to promote her new album, “Spitfire”, scheduled to hit stores in the spring. Rimes co-wrote nine of the 13 songs and co-produced the upcoming record. The album is her 14th studio effort.

As her first release of all new material since her record “Family” in 2007,  that this album is all about emotional truth, Rimes said.

“This is, I think, an honest expression of just my heart and soul, my story and my truth of the last few years that’s been so twisted and turned into so many things that I kind of feel like I’ve had a piece of tape over my mouth for a while and I wanted it to come out somehow.”

Rimes said the album is similar to a film, telling a story as it goes along. The first single to drop from the record,  “What Have I Done,” is scheduled for a radio and iTunes release Dec. 10, and is one she thinks will get fans into the story she wants to tell.

“When releasing tracks off this record, it’s not just about releasing radio singles, it’s to release singles that mean something,” she said. “I think artists focus so much these days on making radio hits instead of making a full album. I want people to hopefully get invested with the album, and not just the singles, and I think this is the beginning of the story telling.”

She believes that “Spitfire”, the title track, is another fans will enjoy, calling it “sassy” and fun. It’s just one part of the range of emotions Rimes expresses through her songs, and she chose it as her titular track because she feels as though she is “spitting fire” on the record. She goes through anger, hurt, remorse, guilt and several other emotions, and the title covers it all.

To deal with these emotions, Rimes checked herself into stress and anxiety rehab at the end of August, a choice she made for her own health.

“I grew up in a crazy environment, from the time I was so young and being a child star, it’s not easy,” she said. “Instead of my life having control of me, I wanted to take control of it and truly enjoy the wonderful things I have around me.”

Many speculated that she would cancel her tour dates, but she’s remained true to her fans, keeping her full schedule. She finds that being able to have an emotional connection to her audience has helped her.

“I think I realized how amazed and how blessed I am to have such a long career and only be 30 and have just this core group of incredible fans behind me. It wasn’t easy to perform these deep and emotional songs,” she said. “To be able to cry on stage with my fans and for them to totally connect to me and let me do it and be in the moment with them has been truly, truly supportive and it means a ton.”

She’s recently completed her 30-day program and shared that she’s feeling better than ever, noting that she is very happy with where she is in her life, feeling very much at peace.

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