- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LeAnn Rimes was world-famous by the time she was 13 thanks to her cover of Patsy Cline’s song “Blue.” From there it was a meteoric rise to the top of the country charts, with later hits including “How Do I Live,” “Something’s Gotta Give” and “What I Cannot Change.”

From humble Southern beginnings, Miss Rimes‘ star path brings her to the District Friday evening, where she will perform in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

“It is so inspiring to reshape songs of mine, [which] I have been performing one way for a while, into some epic sweeping adventure with an orchestra,” Miss Rimes told The Washington Times in an email.

Miss Rimes has sold 44 million albums around the world, picking up two Grammys along the way. As she has grown as an artist, so too have her ambitions and the ways in which she engages with her audience.

“We always try to keep things fun and different and current,” she said.

Friday she will perform other hits like “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” as well as material from her new album, “Remnants.” With herself at center stare, NSO conductor Emil de Cou will lead the classical ensemble behind her.

“An orchestra … brings a different energy and feel to the show,” she said. “It amplifies the material and also brings an elegance to the show.”

Miss Rimes believes that the bevy of musicians within an ensemble such as the NSO increases the experience not only for her fans, but also for the performers on stage working together to make musical magic.

“I get excited anytime there is an opportunity to perform with an orchestra. It amplifies the material and also brings an elegance to the show,” she said.

Furthermore, singing songs she has performed on her own with an ensemble allows her the opportunity to discover hidden passageways within each of those compositions.

“You find other nuances and feelings that you would not have discovered if not for collaborating with all these other magnificent musicians,” Miss Rimes said.

Miss Rimes, who counts Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton among her many influences, has spoken often of the difficulty of the entertainment business, but given her own success, it remains possible for aspiring musicians now to make it, she says.

“Surround yourself with good, honest people, soak in each and every moment, and don’t get caught up in the ‘things’ of the industry,” she said. “Stay true to who you are, and don’t give up.”

NSO Pops: LeAnn Rimes” is at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Friday at 8 p.m., with District-based Bumper Jacksons performing an opening set. Tickets are $39 to $109 by going to Kennedy-Center.org.


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