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Christmas Time Is Here With LeAnn Rimes

By Dontaira Terrell
Posted On Dec 14, 2015
Christmas Time Is Here With LeAnn Rimes

Known for her powerhouse voice, musical storytelling and harmonious grooves LeAnn Rimes, has successfully catapulted her career to unreachable heights since the age of 13. With undeniable talent matched with an unparalleled authenticity both personally and professionally, the country super-star continues to garner worldwide success. Living by the mantra, of “family being the most important thing in the world,” the songstress credits her personal relationships as a source of inspiration and defining factor that have shaped her well-being especially during the holidays.

We had an opportunity to chat with the multi-faceted singer songwriter who opened up to us about her musical legacy, family traditions, the eye-opening emotional and physical effects of psoriasis as well as the new release of her highly anticipated holiday album, Today is Christmas.

Photo Credit: Sara Hertel
Photo Credit: Sara Hertel

New You: You began your career in musical theatre, performing the production of, A Christmas Carol because of this how important is this Christmas album and while recording did it bring back any childhood memories?
LeAnn Rimes: Oh, that’s funny! I honestly didn’t even think about originally starting out doing the production of A Christmas Carol. I was seven (I think) when I played Tiny Tim and they put all of my hair way up in the hat (laughs). Then I also played Scrooges little sister Fan. It was quite the production, but I had so much fun doing it. I fell in love with musical theater back then and Christmas has always meant a lot to my family. My godparents used to have Christmas at their home most of the time. They decorated everything to the nines and I’ve kind of adopted that tradition.

I recorded a Christmas album maybe 10 or 12 years ago. It’s been so long since I was able to record Christmas music that this time around I kind of stretched it out a bit. I recorded an EP last year and made the full record this year that will all come together in one full project next year but with more added to it. You can say I wanted to expand my Christmas music repertoire because it’s been so long since I’ve done [a Christmas album] it.

NY: What do you hope people to take away after listening to this record?
LR: I really hope they are moved in some way by the music. The record definitely kind of runs the gamut of emotions. Christmas time I believe can mean something different to so many people. It’s not necessarily joy and happiness because people experience loss and heartbreak. With this record, I think we really touched upon each and every one of those emotions. Also, I really hope it becomes the background music for all of the great memories that people are going to create this year.

NY: If your entire life was a song title; what title would best fit from this album? Why?
LR: Oh my, my entire life! I would go with Celebrate Me Home, because obviously I’ve been on the road basically my whole life. I grew up in Texas until I was around 13 then I was on a tour bus. I think Christmas has always been a big deal for me because it was one of the times I was able to go home, relax, be around family and where my life kind of slowed down a bit. The song [Celebrate Me Home] has a special meaning to me especially if you put it in that context. I believe it summarizes a huge part of my life.

NY: What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
LR: There are many levels of things I’m looking forward to including spending time with my family and performing this album because I’ve never performed these songs live. Overall I just look forward to the season period especially all of the decorations. My stepsons are eight and twelve so it’s always fun to see Christmas through their eyes. It’s really an entirely different experience and has been for about the last six or seven years. We have our little traditions such as going to see Santa and picture taking with Santa at one particular place in Calabasas. There’s such an energy about it that’s really special.

NY: How important is family to you, especially around Christmas?
LR: I think it’s hugely important to me. It’s definitely shifted for me in a major way having two children around and helping raise them. My entire life and priorities have changed especially being a blended family. We both work really hard on making our family a solid unit and part of that is me being involved and being there. We have been together many years now, I think we have accomplished that and we have very much solidified our family unit. It’s super important to keep that up. I never look at them like those are your kids because everything [we do] revolves around them.

NY: With such a hectic schedule and the holidays around the corner, how do you make time to sustain a healthy eating regimen?
LR: Oh wow, it’s difficult. On Christmas day and Christmas Eve, all bets are off! My husband is Cuban, his mom and dad host a huge Cuban feast at their house. For about 48 hours I’m pretty much stuffing my face with food (laughs). When I’m on the road especially when there’s so much demand on my body for what I do [traveling and performing]. I try as hard as I can to remain disciplined and focused on taking care of myself because I have to be well to do these things!

I also carry hand and ankle weights (about 3lbs), bands and a jump rope, in order for me to get a workout in anywhere. No excuses! It is a priority because it helps me feel better about myself and feel better health wise.

 

Photo Credit: Sara Hertel
Photo Credit: Sara Hertel

NY: Words of advice for those who may be dealing or suffering from psoriasis?
LR: I have been dealing with psoriasis since I was [diagnosed at] two. Basically, I don’t remember not having it. Over the years, I’ve been able to receive treatment and mostly stay clear for the last 10 years. I think it’s really about awareness and seeking treatment by finding the right dermatologist. It’s not just a skin disorder it can really affect your entire life and organs because it is truly an autoimmune disease. If you see it or feel you have it, please go get checked.

I kind of laugh at it now because of all the things I could’ve had? To have it all over my body, stand up in front of millions of people and be this confident little girl when I definitely wasn’t at times. Trust me when I say, I truly, truly understand the mental toll, physical toll and struggle it can take on you.

NY: Can you share with us any knowledge you may have on ways to prevent a psoriasis flare-up?
LR: Maintaining a safe level of stress is super important and your diet is too because it’s an inflammatory response to what we put into our bodies. With that said, make sure you pay attention by putting good things into your body. Try meditating, yoga, painting, working out, music or anything that can help reduce stress.

NY: It’s really commendable of you to personally speak out about your condition and create awareness surrounding psoriasis.
LR: It really controlled so much of my life for so long. I felt I could take control of it by being able to speak up about it. There are more than 7 ½ million Americans that have psoriasis. Just knowing this fact and knowing [me] personally speaking out about it is helping someone else become a little more confident because they see me discussing it makes it all worth it.

NY: What do you want your musical legacy to be?
LR: That is so hard. I feel like I’m right in the middle of it at least I hope. I want people to remember me for my voice, my stories and my authenticity. I believe as an artist with my last album there is an authenticity to the music that I maybe didn’t have when I was a kid as well as possibly a vulnerability to share. As a songwriter, I hope people relate to my music, remembering my voice and stories.