News Column

LeAnn Rimes to play Christmas show in Bethlehem

July 11, 2014

By John J. Moser, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)



July 11--LeAnn Rimes, who was one of the youngest country music stars ever and later developed a pop career, will play a Christmastime show at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, officials announced Thursday. It will be her first Lehigh Valley show in 16 years.

The Dec. 7 show will be the second date on a new tour called "One Christmas" to support the release of her new Christmas album, "One Christmas -- Chapter 1" this holiday season. The tour kicks off two days earlier in Rutland, Vt.

Tickets, at $35 to $79.50, go on sale 10 a.m.July 18 at sandseventcenter.com, the Event Center box office, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Rimes rose to stardom at age 13 when her debut album "Blue" topped the country chart and sold 6 times platinum in 1996. She was the youngest chart-topper since Tanya Tucker, who rose to fame nearly 25 years earlier.

That year, Rimes won Grammy Awards as Best New Artist and Best Female Country Performance for "Blue." That made her the youngest recipient of a Grammy, and was also the first country recording artist to win Best New Artist.

Her disc "You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's albums chart in 1997 and sold 4 million copies. Her next four albums all sold gold or platinum and charted in the Top 3.

She had a dozen Top 10 country songs, including the chart-topping "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)." She also had a No. 2 hit with a cover of The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody."

In all, she has had nine Top 10 albums, the latest being her 2013 release "Spitfire," which peaked at No. 9. The title track from her latest album hit No. 25 on the Dance chart.

The new disc is the first chapter of three Christmas albums Rimes plans to release over consecutive holiday seasons, the tour announcement said. "One Christmas -- Chapter 2" will be released in 2015 and the final album in 2016.

"I love everything about the holidays," Rimes, now 31, said in a release. "And want to share the magic and joy of the season with my fans. I look forward to playing some of my favorite Christmas classics for music lovers in an intimate, cozy setting."

In all, Rimes has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, the latest in 2008 for Album of the Year for "These Days." In 1996 she won the Academy of Country Music Awards for Top New Female Vocalist and Single of the Year for "Blue."

Rimes played Reading's Sovereign Center, now Santander Arena, in 2005. She was scheduled to play Allentown Fair in 2000, but pulled out because of a swollen vocal cord and was replaced by Martina McBride. She played a non-fair show at the Fairgrounds in 1998 and opened for Alan Jackson in a sold-out show at the fair in 1997.

John.moser@mcall.com

Twitter @johnjmoser

610-820-6722

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Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)


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