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LeAnn Rimes Takes It Personal on Newest Album, Remnants

Apr 20, 2017 04:00PM ● By Nicole Gould
Releasing her very first album, Blue, when she was only 13-years-old, LeAnn Rimes has continued to deliver a virtuoso mastery of harmonies, selling over 44 million albums and becoming the youngest Grammy-award recipient of all time.

At 34-years-old, Rimes has been quite the accomplished artist over the last two decades, winning two Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, two World Music Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards, one Country Music Association Award, and one Dove Award.

“…surround yourself with solid people who care about you. It’s easy to become a part of a machine and just go through the motions, so take a stand for what you want as an artist, be present in the moment and stay grounded.” - LeAnn Rimes

Rimes’ 16th studio album, Remnants, released in early February 2017, presents many aspects of love, and weaves together her powerhouse vocals with a soulful mixture of musical genres. The album debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Independent Album Chart and peaked at No. 3 on iTunes overall charts.

Her first single off the album, “Long Live Love,” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Chart. Through this song, Rimes offers a message of wisdom, reminding her listeners that everyone has the right to love whoever they want. Another standout off the album, where Rimes speaks with such personal honesty and emotion, is “Mother.”

Catch this award-winning artist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Friday, April 28th, 8 p.m.  during her Long Live Club Tour. Tickets range from $39–109. The night will open with a performance by Bumper Jacksons.

 
Photo by Steven Sebring

 

Age the age of 34, you’ve become quite the accomplished artist. How did you become interested in singing and what ultimately led you to develop this as a career? 

Singing was always a part of me, so I never thought about it as a career. I mean, I was so very, very young. I loved singing and performing, so working hard was never a problem for me and with a lot of luck and great songs, the career happened. I feel extremely blessed and thankful for all that has happened. And for those I had the good fortune to work with.

 

Tell me a little more about your newest album, Remnants, and where the inspiration for the album came about. What was the ultimate difference recording this album compared to albums in years past? What’s the story behind the naming of this album? 

With this album, we wrote about all aspects of love and all of its angles, from giving it, receiving it, making it, and standing up for it. I wanted to be intentional with this record and release music to bring love and positivity into the world. I want to spark a conversation with people. 

I went back to my mom’s Mississippi roots for this album. I worked with the amazing Mark Batson, who has written and produced for Seal, Eminem, Alicia Keys, and many others, and my longtime friend Darrell Brown, who actually grew up here in Scottsdale. 

The number four soundtrack on your album is, “Mother,” which talks about repairing your relationship with your own mother. Tell me a little more about the process of putting this song together and what brought you to putting something so personal on the album. 

This song is a pretty emotional one for me. The day we wrote it, I was really frustrated with my mom and I was writing with my longtime producer and friend Darrell Brown, and Mark Batson and I had a situation with one of my stepsons that gave me just a glimpse of what my mom went through, and I just started crying and texting her, “I’m so sorry. I understand now.”

I realized, my mom did the best she could with me. She essentially lost me to the industry when I was just 12-years-old and to now get to a place of understanding where she is just another woman who loves her child and protected her as best she could. As women, we carry pain from the generation before us and I saw my grandmother was passing along pain and issues onto my mom, and my mom was passing it along to me unknowingly.

But I want to make the conscious decision to stop the cycle with me. I don’t want to pass it along to my family. And my mother and I are great, we have our issues just like anyone else, but I can talk to her not necessarily as my mom where I need her for something, but as another woman. We can talk about life, love, and help each other.

 
Photo by Steven Sebring

 

Every song tells a story. “Long Live Love” was your first single off the album. What’s the story behind these passionate lyrics? Is there any particular reason you released this song as the album’s first single?

That song is feisty (laughs). I was pissed off that day and it felt good to write those lyrics. Darrell [Brown] actually came up with that first line, but after that, the next lines came spilling out of my mouth, and said “I got tired of my balls being cut off ‘cause you didn’t have none.’” I was like, “Can I say that? Can I say balls?” He was like, “We’re going to say anything you want to on this record. No restraints!”

With that song, I feel the difference between a girl and a woman, and part of being a woman is getting in touch with this lioness thing inside of you.

It’s been 20 years since you won your very first Grammy. How would you say you’ve developed/changed as an artist from that moment up to today with your release of Remnants? What has changed about the music industry since you were first discovered?

  I believe the best gift that has been given to me is knowing that there is always more to learn. I have never, ever believed I have arrived. Music is always ten steps ahead, always beckoning me onward.

The music industry needs to spend more time on artist development, give more freedom, and time for artists to find and record their true voice. 

 
Photo by Steven Sebring

 

Let’s talk about your new headline tour, Long Live Love Club tour, which follows your Today is Christmas Tour 2016. What are you looking forward to most during this experience?

  This show is a more intimate acoustic show, but I am adding some of my favorite songs from my new album Remnants. I will sing lots of the hits, but I am also rearranging a few of the fan favorites into new grooves. I also like reaching back into my catalog and adding some deep track favorites to reintroduce to the show as well. I am very excited for people to hear the new songs. 

 

Throughout your musical journey, what’s the best piece of advice you would give to young anticipating artists?

  Don’t do it! (laughs) No, but if you do it, surround yourself with solid people who care about you. It’s easy to become a part of a machine and just go through the motions, so take a stand for what you want as an artist, be present in the moment, and stay grounded.