Editor’s note: Check High Life on Friday to read a feature on Collin Raye and IMAJ, who open the show for LeAnn Rimes on Saturday.
LeAnn Rimes routinely performs in big cities all over the world. You’ll see her on television sitcoms and in tabloids. On Saturday, you can see her at Gypsum’s Lundgren Theater.
“Small towns are fun to perform for — I think the fans appreciate it more,” she said after some initial confusion on the phone.
Her 6-year-old stepson had answered, told me his dad wasn’t home and then hung up. It turned out to be a great ice-breaker. When I finally got through, I felt like I was connecting to a regular human being rather than a tabloid, larger-than-life sensation.
Rimes’ 6- and 10-year-old stepsons entered her life when she married Eddie Cibrian in 2011.
“Life is completely different with the kids,” she told me. “I have a whole different input with them around.”
Her relationship with Cibrian stirred a lot of tabloid controversy in itself since it began in 2009, which Rimes acknowledged on her webpage, leannrimes world.com.
“I met my husband Eddie under complicated circumstances, and you can Google that, but if you really want my truth, just listen to the music,” she wrote.
Her latest album, “Spitfire,” came out in June. Rimes said it’s the most personally revealing music she’s done so far, and she wants to do more.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so candid before,” she said. “It’s liberating. It’s changed the way I approach music.”
I asked Rimes if it was scary to allow that kind of vulnerability after everything she’s been through with the media.
“It feels good — there are so many lies out there about me and ‘Spitfire’ was the first time I’ve been able to have a voice,” she said. “There is no sugar coating or holding back on the album. After writing the song, ‘Borrowed,’ I feel limitless because I don’t think I can be any more honest than that.
“It’s such a compliment that people connect with it and tell me how they relate,” she added. “I want to be able to elaborate on what I did with ‘Spitfire,’ which I think is just really building on the humanity.”
‘No one is ever ready for fame’
Rimes is also the author of three books. Two of them are for children.
“A song on the album originated from one of the books,” she said. “I’d like to write more books in the future.”
Coincidentally, all three Gypsum Daze performers are authors. Collin Raye has a collection of memoirs coming out soon and young IMAJ already published a three-part romance novel in 2011.
Raye has known Rimes and IMAJ for some time. He speaks highly of both women and predicted IMAJ is destined for stardom, expressing a sort of parental concern for the challenges ahead for her.
Since rising into the spotlight at age 13, Rimes can speak to those challenges.
“No one is ever ready for fame,” she said. “It’s an interesting ride, and you have to stay focused on the music or whatever it is that you do.”
In spite of all the hardships that the constant media attention has brought into her life, Rimes doesn’t complain.
“It’s nice to have all the things I do at only 30 years old,” she said.
One of those things is a tour stop in Gypsum.
“I enjoy Colorado,” she said. “We visit Aspen all the time, and I’ve performed several times on the Front Range.”
But this will be her first time in Gypsum?
“Yeah, this will be my first time in Gypsum,” she said.