LeAnn Rimes was born in Jackson, Mississippi on August 28, 1982 (via Brittanica). Before long, she’d skyrocketed into the stratospheres of childhood stardom. By the age of 2, Rimes had started singing, and by the time she was 5, she’d won her first singing competition. Then when she was only 8 years old, she won a television show called Star Search, and after that, she started recording music.
By 1996, Rimes had signed with a major record label and recorded Blue, which led to a No. 1 hit and two Grammy Awards. Over the years, Rimes continued to release several hit country and pop songs, including, "How Do I Live?" and "Can’t Fight the Moonlight." However, since the days of her mega stardom, Rimes has drifted out of the spotlight. So what became of this massive star from the ’90s and 2000s, and what has she really been up to in the last few years? Here’s the truth about what really happened to LeAnn Rimes.
LeAnn Rimes was a child superstar
LeAnn Rimes certainly wasn’t new to the spotlight at the height of her fame. After performing in and winning her first singing competition at the young age of 5, she went on to compete in a televised talent show at the age of 8 (via Brittanica). As with many other child stars, Rimes didn’t always find growing up in the public eye easy. In fact, her history of being a child star may have something to do with why she chose to step back from her celebrity.
As she explained on a Christmas concert livestream (via Looped), Rimes’ early fame meant that most of her fans had a very biased idea of who she was. "I think that gets ingrained into people’s minds of who they think you are," she explained. It sounds like Rimes was tired of how fans thought they knew her — perhaps this also contributed to her decision to step back from the spotlight. As she described her child stardom on The Tamron Hall Show, "It felt like somebody plugged me into a wall socket and left me on."
LeAnn Rimes’ parents had a very public divorce, followed by nasty lawsuit between Rimes and her father
Despite her stellar music career, LeAnn Rimes didn’t always experience positive press coverage. In fact, she had her run-ins with the tabloids and gossip columns early on — and it seems to have taken its toll. A year after the release of her debut album, Blue, LeAnn’s parents divorced. She was just 14 years old at the time.
This was an extremely difficult time for LeAnn; shortly after the divorce, she got embroiled in a lawsuit with her father, Wilbur Rimes. According to ABC News, the lawsuit revolved around $7 million that LeAnn claimed had been stolen from her earnings by her father. Wilbur filed a counter-lawsuit and claimed that LeAnn has a problem with overspending. As LeAnn later recalled, "I was being called a spoiled brat by some people. But, you know, people don’t know me."
Additionally, in an interview with People, LeAnn explained that this tumultuous period of her life eventually led to issues with anxiety and depression. It sounds like LeAnn was already getting tired of the spotlight as early as 1997!
LeAnn Rimes had a scandalous affair with Eddie Cibrian before they married
LeAnn Rimes’ brush with the tabloids during her parents’ divorce was just the beginning of her struggles with the press. In 2009, Rimes met actor Eddie Cibrian while filming the TV movie Northern Lights and, as the Mirror reported, the pair began an infamous affair. At the time, both were already married.
As Rimes explained to People, the constant public attention during her affair was eventually too much to handle. "There was something in the press every week that was just so fabricated," she recalled. "Obviously there are mistakes that I take great responsibility for. But my whole life I had cared what everyone thought of me."
As the singer explained, this onslaught of negative press led to her retreat from the industry; Rimes began experiencing panic attacks and negative thoughts. It sounds like her affair and the press that came with it made it almost impossible for her to continue working at the same pace and intensity.
After her affair, LeAnn Rimes went through a pretty ugly divorce
LeAnn Rimes’ tabloid headlines didn’t end with her affair with Eddie Cibrian. In fact, once the affair became public knowledge, she went through a grueling, and unsurprisingly very public divorce from Dean Sheremet. Rimes announced her plans to split from Sheremet in a message that has since been deleted on her personal website. "This decision was amicable and we remain committed and caring friends with great admiration for one another," she reportedly wrote (via E! News).
Even if she did stay friends with Sheremet, Rimes may have suffered professionally by losing a collaborator when she divorced him. As he told Nat’s Next Adventure, "When we were working together, we were brilliant. The dumbest thing she ever did for her career was divorce me." He went on to explain that he’d actually helped her write her last hit song, "Nothing Better to Do." While it’s unclear if losing Sheremet really did hinder her creatively, it sounds like working with him had helped her find success before her divorce.
LeAnn Rimes checked herself into a mental health facility in 2012
After the negative press coverage concerning her notorious affair with Eddie Cibrain and subsequent divorce, LeAnn Rimes eventually realized that she needed help with her mental health. To that end, on the day after her 30th birthday in 2012, she checked herself into a mental health facility. As the singer explained on The Tamron Hall Show, "It was the greatest gift I could’ve given myself."
Rimes also recalled her time in treatment in an interview with People. "It was the first night I was ever alone, ever," she confessed. "There was a lot of co-dependency. And a lot of healing that needed to be done." By the sound of things, Rimes really needed time to care for herself.
Thankfully, Rimes’ time in treatment seems to have helped her to make peace with her lingering trauma. In fact, as she explained, she learned to relish her time to herself, and even started prioritizing self-care over her career. That had to be a much needed change for the star.
LeAnn Rimes admitted that life in the public eye came with its challenges
After being a megawatt child star and a prominent figure in the tabloids, it’s no huge surprise that LeAnn Rimes eventually decided to live a more private life; in 2014, the singer confessed that her celebrity and its accompanying scrutiny had taken its toll. As she explained to Fox News, "I started so young that’s all I know." In fact, she added that she sometimes feels a little jealous of her husband’s more normal childhood. While he got to go to college before becoming famous, Rimes, "just jumped into it at two."
Over the years, however, Rimes has had to learn to live a more balanced life. Nevertheless, as she confessed, "I would have loved to have had that freedom to grow up and learn that naturally."
In terms of her professional life, it wasn’t until 2014 that Rimes gained professional freedom and got to make her own musical choices. As she explained, she was still learning what direction she wanted to take as an artist. That’s just one more good reason for her to slow down!
LeAnn Rimes has focused more on her blog than her music
LeAnn Rimes isn’t quite as famous as she once was. However, that may be because she shifted her focus from making music to her spiritual lifestyle blog, Soul of EverLe. In 2017, Rimes spoke to Refinery29 about the blog and why she chose to start it. As she confessed, trepidation had held her back from being an active blogger for years. "I had to let go of the fear," she revealed. "I’m such a perfectionist and I’ve been one to wait until things are almost perfect…even though I know perfect doesn’t exist."
As the singer went on to explain, the blog is an extension of her healing, which began when she checked herself into a rehabilitation center for her anxiety and depression. "The [self-healing] journey has been so interesting," she continued. "People are constantly asking me what I’m doing, what I’m reading, [how I’m] taking care of my body, what I’m eating, all of those types of things. I hope to touch upon all of that on the blog." Clearly this project has been a great change of pace for Rimes.
LeAnn Rimes became a dedicated stepmother and wife
Yet another reason why LeAnn Rimes may have stepped away from her career is that she became extremely dedicated to her family. She married her second husband, Eddie Cibrian, in 2011 and became stepmother to his two sons.
It’s clear that the singer takes family very seriously. In fact, on her 2017 album Remnants, it became a major theme. "The message of love comes through this record," Rimes explained in an interview with People. "We were writing about love from many different angles."
In another interview with Refinery29, Rimes opened up about learning how to be a good parent, as she had such an old childhood. "To be around them, and to watch them have a childhood, it’s been amazing to see," she confessed. "It’s been a really big learning experience for me." It sounds like her family has become a central part of her life. And based on a 2020 day-in-the-life diary Rimes penned for USA Today, it’s evident that she’s become a total homebody, who’s obsessed with cooking and spending time at the pool with her family. So cute!
LeAnn Rimes may want kids of her own one day
While it’s clear that LeAnn Rimes adores her two stepsons, rumor has it that the singer is hoping to have kids of her own one day. In 2014, the star spoke to Fox News about the idea of becoming a mother again. When asked if she and her husband were trying to get pregnant, she said, noncommittally, "It’s not something that we’re trying to stop right now I guess — I don’t know." Then she added, "We definitely want kids."
Four years later, children were still on Rimes’ mind. While she told Entertainment Tonight that she didn’t want kids "at the moment," she confessed that she did get the urge "every once in a while." She added that "maybe one day" she would want to get pregnant. "I mean, I love my stepkids and I get plenty on my plate with them," she continued. "So, I’m cool at the moment." Sounds like it’s a matter of when rather than if!
LeAnn Rimes used mediation to ease her anxiety and even started teaching it
One of the most important things that LeAnn Rimes discovered on her self-healing journey was the power of meditation. In fact, in 2017, she told ABC News that the practice had completely changed her life. Apparently, the singer uses "Metta" meditation, a type of Buddhist meditation that involves sending "good vibes toward others and toward oneself," as ABC News put it.
Rimes also explained that her meditation practice has transformed her habits. "I used to not be able to sit still," she continued. "I had separation anxiety, big time. I used to not be able to sit by myself at all." However, since starting her practice, she’s learned to cherish her still, alone time.
In 2020, Rimes wrote a day-in-the-life diary for USA Today, and reading it, you can definitely see that meditation is still a huge part of her life. As she explained, she usually spends an hour and a half meditating and preparing a meditation class for her Instagram. So cool!
In 2020, LeAnn Rimes opened up about an unexpected psoriasis flare-up
Even though LeAnn Rimes is a huge star, she hasn’t always had a perfect life — or, for that matter, perfect health. In fact, it turns out the singer suffers from occasional psoriasis flare-ups. Notably, in 2020, stress caused by the pandemic led to a flare-up — her first in 16 years. However, instead of hiding her condition, Rimes decided to pose for a series of nude photos for Glamour.
Rimes explained her decision to bare all in an interview with the magazine. "Maybe it’s the fact that this year has really put things into perspective, but I now feel like I’m at a point in my life where I just want to break out of that cage," she revealed.
Rimes went on to explain that she wanted to show people who she really was without any of the artifice. "Now we can see how worthy and good enough we are without all of the bull," she continued. "We’re worthy without the makeup and the artifice. We’re worthy of love without having to work for it." What an amazing and positive message!
Performing on The Masked Singer let LeAnn Rimes reclaim her image
After being a well-known singer for almost her entire life, LeAnn Rimes felt that she’d lost control of her own image. After all, she’d always had music producers and PR professionals crafting an image for her. Luckily, in 2020, Rimes had an opportunity to change things by performing on The Masked Singer. She even won the show!
In a Christmas concert livestream (via Looped), Rimes admitted that singing anonymously beneath the sun mask helped her to shed her public image. "This was a way for people to not have this preconceived idea or storyline that was connected [about] who they think I am," she explained. "And just truly feel my essence and authenticity. It felt like the perfect, synchronization reset." It’s so great that Rimes had the chance to do her thing while knowing that no one was judging her on her very famous past.
LeAnn Rimes has learned how to find a sense of self-worth
After years in the spotlight and some significant mental health struggles, LeAnn Rimes really seems to be coming into her own. In fact, as the singer explained to HelloGiggles, she’s finally learned to appreciate herself, and even discusses it on her podcast, Wholly Human. "I talk about wholeness a lot, especially with the podcast, as I feel like that has been my journey," she shared. "Starting in this business so young, I was trying to be so many things to so many people that I felt so incredibly fragmented." Rimes added that she finally feels ready to acknowledge all parts of herself so that she feels whole again.
Rimes opened up about her self-worth once again in a chat with People. As she explained, after professional therapy and personal growth, "I know who I am now. And I try to keep things in perspective… self-worth is key." It’s really amazing to see just how far Rimes has come!
LeAnn Rimes released a new album in 2020
Even though LeAnn Rimes has been focusing on other aspects of her life outside of her career, it doesn’t mean she’s stopped singing altogether. In fact, in 2020, Rimes released a new album called Chant: The Human & The Holy. As she told Billboard, the album was inspired by her meditation. Apparently, the singer would record melodies and lyrics that came to her while meditating. Soon, she realized they were chants, and decided to create an album. Rimes added that the album came at the perfect time — during the pandemic. "I needed it for myself to help use my own voice to bring some healing to my heart," she confessed.
Rimes also explained to Entertainment Weekly that she was working on another project — and this album was a real departure from her previous work. "I don’t have words for it, yet. There’s a lot of world vibe to this record," she said, explaining that her new album would be different. "I’ve never been more excited in my life about new music," she continued. Sounds like Rimes isn’t slowing down any time soon!