Singer reflects on traumatic childhood fame

LeAnn Rimes celebrated the 25th anniversary of her album “Blue” this month. But the singer and actress, who became the youngest person to win a Grammy at age 14 for the album, rarely reflects on that time in her life to “maintain (her) sanity.” “I can look back and recognize, I think, how much I have survived,” she told USA TODAY ahead of the second season of her mental health podcast “Wholly Human” (out now on iHeartRadio). “The traumatic parts of it kind of out shadow and outweigh the success and all the accomplishments, so it’s nice to look back and have a balanced view of both sides of things.”

Rimes, 38, is “still dealing” with the mental health impact of achieving stardom at such a young age. “I always joke about this, but it’s not funny… There was never anyone for me to call and say, ‘Hey, how did you get through this?’ Because most of us that start at that age are dead or still really shaken by the whole experience,” she said. “One of my greatest accomplishments has been surviving childhood stardom, thriving past it, and finding my healing journey because not everyone is so fortunate.”


Rimes has also overcome her drama playing out in the public eye. She and her husband, Eddie Cibrian, made headlines when they went public as a couple in 2009. The pair met while married to other people, and her husband’s ex, Brandi Glanville, aired details about their family dynamics as a cast member on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” When family situations get stressful, Rimes believes it’s important to have open, honest conversations: “(Try) to do it from a place of loving-kindness and understanding and not communicating when triggered and heightened arousal. I think that’s super important.”

She hasn’t always been a “boundary queen,” but she understands the importance of setting firm boundaries with time. “I think… knowing when to walk away and give people space and take space for yourself, I think those are all key pieces to family unit survival and communication,” Rimes said. Sometimes it’s best to take a break — even regarding family. “There’s a lot of things that are very unhealthy in our society that we’re made to think,” she said. “Just because people are family doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. I think that’s important for everyone’s mental health is to know that that is an option.” A “healthy kind of selfishness” is also OK.

“One of the biggest things that I’m learning for myself is that selfishness is not selfish,” she said. “No one is served by you, putting everyone else’s needs before yours. This is something I’m continuing to learn... selfishness is important, and self-care.” Rimes practices self-care in various ways, including a morning routine that involves lymphatic drainage techniques like gua sha on her face, meditation, and workouts.

What is gua sha? Everything you need to know

“I think probably one of the biggest pieces for me is getting into my body lately, like moving and dancing and just finding ways to be kind of uninhibited and enjoy movement,” she said, adding she does a “little bit of everything” in the wellness realm from breathing practices to facial acupuncture. She’s also exploring new wellness topics in her podcast. While Rimes has gotten personal through her music for years, “Wholly Human” allows her to use her voice differently, she said.

“Every time I do it, I feel like I’m opening up more and more, and I’m allowing that space to be a place of humanity,” she said. “(It) was important to me for people to be able, after all these years, to connect with me in a new way and to share my journey for myself, to really kind of discharge the shame of my journey for myself, to discharge the shame of everyone else’s journey by sharing my own.” This journey continues in her upcoming album, “God’s Work,” which drops later this year. “This album is a real call to action not only personally but for the collective,” she said. “I feel like I’m writing music that is part of my expression and awakening, but calling people to join me on that too.”

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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