LeAnn Rimes signed her first record contract when she was 13 years old and won two Grammys the following year for her first album, “Blue.”
Rimes was riding high on a wave of success, and was only 17 when she appeared in the 2000 film “Coyote Ugly.” She told The Guardian she was constantly working in the studio and had performed in “500 shows in three and a half years.”
Her cameo in the female-driven flick, which included her hit “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” marked a major turning point for Rimes as she admitted she had never even “danced on top” of a bar and had to do “a lot of pretending to play the part of a woman with confidence.”
“The video for this song became a kind of introduction to my sexuality, something I could own myself,” Rimes said. “The film was multilayered, but it was centered on women selling sex, whereas for most of my career my identity had been the opposite — it was about everyone around me preserving me as this wholesome child.
‘YELLOWJACKETS’ STAR MELANIE LYNSKEY OPENS UP ABOUT BEING BODY SHAMED DURING ‘COYOTE UGLY’ MOVIE
“‘Coyote Ugly’ was my step out of that innocence.”
Rimes recalled, “On the day of the shoot, the costume department handed me these chicken fillets to wear, and I said, ‘What am I supposed to do with these?’ They had to explain: ‘You’re meant to put them in your shirt, they make your boobs bigger.’
LEANN RIMES SAYS ‘RESILIENCE’ HAS LED TO HER 25-YEAR SUCCESS IN THE COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY
“It was a bit of a shock at first, but it became an introduction to a different side of myself that I wanted to explore.”
The “How Do I Live” singer said it “used to be hard” for her to look back on past photos without cringing.
Rimes danced on top of a bar alongside “Coyote Ugly” star Piper Perabo in the music video.
“I was coming into my own in the media spotlight, which is very awkward in many ways,” she said. “But now I see someone who was a survivor and a true fighter. Not only was I turning into a woman aesthetically, but this moment marked a pivotal point of asserting my need for autonomy professionally.”
Her song found “massive” success, but she realized that her fame as a kid “was a blessing and a curse.”
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
LeAnn wrote for the Guardian, “I started performing at a very young age and I didn’t realize how unique my childhood was until I had my stepsons, and the eldest turned 11. I thought, ‘Oh wow. My experience of this stage of life was very different.’ I did get to be creative and live out a dream at a very young age, but I also missed out on a lot of things.”
Rimes met and fell in love with Eddie Cibrian while working together on “Northern Lights” in 2009. She separated from husband Dean Sheremet, while Eddie and his estranged wife, Brandi Glanville, divorced shortly after. Eddie and LeAnn married in 2011.
She recalled always feeling like “an old soul — I was a very deep thinker and could always hold a conversation with adults. I wasn’t really a kid. Although I had challenges in connecting to people my own age because I was always performing, I instead got to have an incredible connection with an audience.”
In 2012, Rimes addressed her mental health and entered into an in-patient facility for depression and anxiety treatment. She called it the “best gift” she could have given herself.
“I constantly had people around me my whole life, whether it be parents, my ex-husband, a manager or agent, all the world’s eyes were on me constantly,” Rimes told Tamron Hall in 2020. “I had never been alone really until being in treatment for anxiety and depression.”