When LeAnn Rimes' debut single, "Blue," took the country by surprise in 1996, comparisons were immediately made to Patsy Cline -- not only because of her rich, powerful voice, but the fact that she was only 13 years old.
Rimes began singing as a child in Texas and, by the time she was 11, had released her first album on an independent label. When Dallas DJ Bill Mack met Rimes, he took her under his wing -- he thought she'd be perfect to record a single he had written for Cline in the '60s, "Blue." Cline had died before she could record the song.
In 1995, Rimes appeared in 100 concerts and TV shows across Texas. Meanwhile, Mack had arranged a contract for Rimes at Curb Records, which promoted her as the "successor to Cline's tradition." The result: "Blue" debuted at No. 3 on the pop charts and sold 123,000 copies within its first week of release. The album earned multi-platinum status peaking at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 1996 Rimes won two Grammy Awards, for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Blue." She followed that up winning the 1996 Academy of Country Music awards for Top New Female Vocalist, Song of the Year and Single of the Year. In 1997 she won the Country Music Associations Horizon Award.
Following up on her award wins, Rimes released a series of albums -- "You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs," "Sittin' on Top of the World," "LeAnn Rimes" and "I Need You." "You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs" contained a the single "How Do I Live." Rimes version of the song (it was also recorded by Trisha Yearwood) hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and set a record for staying on the chart 69 weeks. The record stood until 2009.
"Twisted Angel" was released in 2002, and "This Woman" followed in 2005. In the summer of 2006 she released "Whatever We Wanna." After a two-year break, Rimes released "Family" in 2007, which featured a duet with Bon Jovi, "Til We Ain't Strangers Anymore." It was the first album on which Rimes co-wrote every track. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2008 for the third single on the album "What I Cannot Change."
Four years later in 2011 Rimes released "Lady & Gentlemen," which featured Rimes doing covers of country songs previously sung by male artists including "Swingin'," "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," "16 Tons," "A Good Hearted Woman" and more. It also included a new version of her hit "Blue." In 2013, she released "Spitfire."
In addition to her music career, Rimes has appeared in film and television with roles in "Coyote Ugly," "Good Intentions," "Drop Dead Diva," "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and more.
Don't miss your chance to catch this country music singing sensation when she takes the Vegas stage this winter.