EXCLUSIVE: LeAnn Rimes has finally found herself.
At 38 years old, the vocal powerhouse and multi-platinum selling recording artist has entered a different chapter in her life – one that through the culmination of everything she’s gone through, brings enlightenment and perspective to Rimes who was thrust into stardom in her early teens.
Despite being a country music star and film producer beyond her wildest dreams, the “One Way Ticket” songstress lived an embattled life behind the scenes and it would take some 15 years of mounting trauma and grief before Rimes would ultimately take control of her life.
The day after her 30th birthday, Rimes decided to take a pause from the world around her and checked herself into a treatment facility for depression and anxiety.
“At first I didn’t want to face my pain because I thought I would get lost in it. But I didn’t,” Rimes told Fox News while discussing the release of her new album “CHANT: The Human & The Holy,” a record she said came to her as she was laying down songs for her next album, which is slated to drop around late-2021.
“People are so ashamed to talk about it and ask for help,” Rimes continued of reaching her breaking point. “But taking away the shame is so important. I had so much underlying grief, everything accumulated and I had to give in.”
Rimes said “CHANT” has “been a lifetime in the making.” Reflecting on the 12-song album as a whole, the two-time Grammy-winner said the album wouldn't have gotten made had she not experienced the high and low points in her life.
“It’s taken my whole journey to allow something like this to be birthed through me. I just trusted it and I didn’t question it," said Rimes.
Simply put, Rimes said she “wanted to be of service for something greater and to move forward without putting myself under my own limitations.”
“So, I guess it's a big trust project,” she added.
Rimes is also placing trust in herself as meditation has become a means of fusing her mind, body and soul. Her latest album just happens to be a byproduct of the meditation practice, which produced a number of the melodies featured on the project.
“This 'Chant' album came up for me in the middle of making my next album,” said Rimes. “While meditating, melodies and words would rise up for me and I would hit record on my phone and go back to meditating thinking they were something for my album. I recognized later that the pieces of songs were actually self-contained chants and I felt responsible that they should see the light of day.”
Introspection also became a means for Rimes to decompile the rigors of life and daily stresses which were aiding in causing her psoriasis to flare up. She was diagnosed with the debilitating skin condition at just two years old.
“Meditation has made a huge shift in my life. I have a daily practice but during this time of lockdown it has been incredibly challenging to keep that daily practice, but every time I return to it, I remember why I meditate,” Rimes raved of the solace practice.
Last month, Rimes shared her psoriasis journey with the world when she posed nude for Glamour in order to drive awareness while using the photoshoot as a form of therapy.
“It's like I come home to myself. So, meditation for me has been a huge factor in reducing stress and in helping to reduce inflammation in the body,” she added.
Even with the grave uncertainty 2020 has brought many, the year marks a milestone for Rimes as 20 years ago she appeared in “Coyote Ugly” alongside Tyra Banks, Piper Perabo, Bridget Moynahan, Maria Bello and Izabella Miko.
Rimes lent four songs to the film’s soundtrack, including its catchy theme, “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” Although the film had its critics, it managed to pull in a respectable $113 at the box office and continues to be a staple among “Coyote” fans and patrons of the saloon that inspired the movie which now has 20 locations.
“It has turned into this cult film for women, which at the time I don’t think anyone would have thought would have happened,” Rimes said. “I knew when I heard Diane Warren’s songs for the movie that I wanted to be involved. Trevor Horn’s production also gave all three of us some of the biggest hits. I feel very blessed to have been a part of it.”
Now, Rimes is using her voice in a different way. On Nov. 30, she’ll be expounding on her wellness journey when she premieres her new podcast, “Wholly Human,” on iHeartRadio.
The first season will feature an introduction into LeAnn’s journey as she shares what went into building her toolkit and introduces her community to teachers and wise souls that have helped her along the way.
“Finding my voice outside of music I think is truly one of my deepest lessons on the journey that I'm on at the moment,” Rimes said of delving into a new path with her fans. “Reveling in my vulnerability too, staying in the present moment without perfection. Trusting whatever comes through is what is needed for myself and knowing that I have a purpose with this part of my voice just as well as my singing or writing.”
“I feel like that's really what my ‘Wholly Human’ podcast on iHeart is about with us finding that all the pieces of our humanity carry just as much worth as the ones we feel are wholly," she noted.
Rimes' "Wholly Human" podcast premieres Nov. 30 on iHeartRadio.