LeAnn Rimes chose the covers route for her latest album, "Lady and Gentleman," putting her twist on classic country music songs originally recorded by men. But the 29-year-old is ready to record original music — even though she knows that people will try to draw analogies between her songs and her personal life.
"I'm really not afraid of writing or singing about what's going on in my life," she said in a recent interview. "Why should I be ashamed of it? It's my path. The songs people will hear on my next record which I'm finishing up now, feel free to analyze. The funny thing is the songs that people think are about me probably aren't. And the songs that are probably are the ones they wouldn't think... so that's where it kind of is funny."
Rimes' life has been an open book since she came on the scene as a 13-year-old with a strikingly adult-sounding voice, wowing audiences with her interpretation of the song "Blue." While in the spotlight, she went through a legal battle with her parents (they've since reconciled), got married, then famously romanced actor Eddie Cibrian while both were wed (each ended up divorcing their spouses and are now married to each other).
While Rimes remains a subject of tabloid fascination, she insists her real life is not as exciting as some people may think. She talked about her music, life in the public eye and acting, with or without her husband.
AP: Celebrity and fame has changed since you first became famous as a teenager. Now you're followed by paparazzi and the press focuses on your marriage.
Rimes: It's interesting. I was told when I was little I couldn't have an opinion because you want everyone to buy your record and like you. I'm not gonna apologize for who I am and what I've gone through. We all are human. I've learned you just don't know what another person has gone through. ... People don't see that. You know, I went through all I've gone through in the last few years and I was going through a divorce and I couldn't get out of bed, and so I gained 10 pounds and then I lose 10 pounds because now I'm moving around and I'm working and you know, I don't stop and no one sees that (weight loss) actually can happen like naturally. It's a natural progression of life. It has to be some big deal and some issue so I'm glad there are people out there that are smarter than that and they don't buy into it.
AP: How do you deal with all the tabloid attention?
LeAnn: You go through different emotions every day, because the unfortunate thing is the things that people write about and use the word allegedly in front of and say that you do or have done mold people's opinions about you as a person, and I think it's completely unfair. ... They don't know the half of it. And so I find it interesting. I've never really had to experience that until the last few years. ... It definitely can be life-changing, in a good and bad way.
AP: You're on Twitter. What's it like interacting directly with the public?
Rimes: Twitter can be great and very bad. You immediately have that platform where you can jump back and say whatever want to say, which is where my truth and my bit of a temper (shows) but I've learned to ignore a lot of it. I have great followers on there. It's that instant connection with the fans.
AP: You sing, but you've also done acting. Would you like to do more?
Rimes: Yes, a lot more acting. I have a movie coming out on CMT with Burt Reynolds called "Reel Love." He was so fun to work with. I haven't been acting as long as I've been singing so it really is a learning experience.
AP: You and your husband worked together on a movie. Would you ever want to do more acting with Eddie?
Rimes: We've talked about how it would have to be something incredibly special for us to do together, because it's just so cliché.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar.