On Sunday night, country music makes an unprecedented stride, as two of its up-and-coming female vocalists are in the running for the prestigious all-genre Best New Artist Grammy. Two decades ago, a country artist had never taken home the trophy, but in 1997, a young LeAnn Rimes changed all that.
“I don’t know how many times I was told before I went to the awards show, ‘You’re not gonna win, it’s not gonna happen,’” she recalls. “I was country and I was 14 — like everything was against me. It was definitely a shock to everyone that night and quite a good one,” she smiles.
Because she was so young at the time, LeAnn confesses she doesn’t remember very much about that night.
“I have to watch video actually to kind of recall that moment,” she admits. “I was sick that night, and I remember being just so emotionally sensitive. I remember bursting into tears, but anything after that — what I said, what happened, I have no idea,” she laughs.
LeAnn offers both congratulations — and a little advice — to Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris, who are continuing on the trail she blazed.
“’Just have fun!’” LeAnn says. “… It’s great all these years later we have these country artists that are nominated… I’m proud of them. I’m glad that they’re being considered for that award. I think it’s fantastic.”
LeAnn’s 16th studio album, Remnants, was released on February 3.
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