"Sittin' On Top of the World" is not only
the title of LeAnn Rime's new MCG/Curb album, it is also a fitting moniker for her life.
"This album is more of me than anything," Rimes comments. "It shows the person that I am now, particularly the title. With all the good things that have happened to me, I have nothing to complain about."
"Sittin' On Top of the World" includes a selection of tracks that showcase LeAnn's diverse musical influences, from country to gospel to pop to rock. One of the highlights is "Looking Through You Eyes", a ballad penned by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, which is featured in the highly-anticipated animated motion picture, "Quest For Camelot". Another Gem is "Commitment", the acoustically driven track that is the album's first single. LeAnn puts her unique stamp on a powerful version of the Prince anthem, "Purple Rain". A personal treasure for LeAnn is "More That Anyone Deserves", which she co-wrote with Ron Grimes.
"'More Then Anyone Deserves' is really special to
me," LeAnn says. "Not only because I wrote it, but because it really reflects
how I feel. I've gotten so much love from the fans and everyone around me and that's what
the song is about.
"Superstar" and "Sensation" were just a couple of terms that were used to describe LeAnn early in her career and she certainly has fulfilled that promise. "Blue", her 1996 debut MCG/Curb album, is closing in on the 7 million sales mark and her subsequent LP, "You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs", also a multi-platinum LP, debuted at number one on three Billboard charts: Pop, Country and Contemporary Christian, the first time that has ever been achieved by a country artist. "Early years: Unchained Melody," a compilation album of
LeAnn's early work, was released in early 1997 and sold multi-platinum. To top off 1997, LeAnn had a number one pop single with "How Do I Live", written by Diane Warren.
LeAnn's career has been marked by more than stratospheric record sales. In 1997, she captured an American Music Award, followed by two Grammys (including Best New Artist, which marked the first time a country artist ever captured that honor), three Academy of Country Music Awards, a TNN Music City Award and a CMA "Horizon" Award. LeAnn closed 1997 with four Billboard Music Awards, including "Artist of the Year". Overseas, she has also been awarded the BBC's prestigious "Rising Star" award.
1997 marked LeAnn's acting debut, when she starred in the ABC-TV movie, "Holiday in Your Heart", which aired to public and critical acclaim in December. The film was based on the book of the same title, which LeAnn co-wrote with Tom Carter.
LeAnn's love of music began early. Born August 28, 1982 in Jackson, MS, she began singing before she was two.
"My dad has tapes of me doing 'You Are My Sunshine', 'Getting To Know You' and 'Have Mercy' by the Judds," she recalls.
At age five, LeAnn, an only child, entered and won her first song and dance competition with a version of "Getting To Know You" and told her parents, Wilbur and Belinda, that she wanted a life in show business. The family moved to Texas when LeAnn was six to pursue that dream and she subsequently auditioned (and nearly snagged) the lead in "Annie II" on Broadway. At seven, she made her stage debut in a Dallas musical production of "A Christmas Carol", playing the lead role of Tiny Tim. LeAnn was a two-week champion on the
television show, "Star Search", when she was eight, and was a regular on Johnnie High's Country Music Review" in Fort Worth.
She built a dedicated following in Texas via her powerful a Capella performances of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Dallas Cowboy games and various other events. She also opened for Randy Travis at Starplex in Dallas, among other concert appearances.
At 11, LeAnn recorded her first album, "All That",
produced by Wilbur and released on the independent label, Nor Va Jak. The LP featured a
version of "Blue". Through the buzz created by that album, sold locally in the
Dallas area, LeAnn came to the attention of Curb Records and soon recorded and released
the "Blue" album. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for the future, LeAnn looks forward to her 1998 tour, which will allow her to perform the "Sitting on Top of the World" songs live. She also wants to do more acting and looks forward to making a movie in 1999.
LeAnn Rimes may be sitting on top of the world, but she has a realistic view. "I don't let it all go to my head," she comments. "It could all disappear overnight. So I keep reminding myself of that and how hard I've worked to get here."