LeAnn Rimes burst onto the country music scene when she released her first single, “Blue,” at just 13 years old, but according to her, her debut song was almost completely different. In an interview with Kelleigh Bannen on an Essential Album special on Apple Music Country Rimes shared that her song “The Light in Your Eyes” was originally “the target” for her first single.
“We had made a video and everything for it,” she recalled. “I remember back then, a lot of conversations were had with me about what I really wanted to be a single and I don’t remember about exactly how ‘Blue’ was chosen, but I think we all kind of had this feeling that it was so different than anything else. I think that was kind of my trajectory, always was like, ‘Who am I outside of what everyone else is doing?’ That’s always how I have kind of seen myself. ‘What makes me unique? What can I do that other people aren’t doing right now?'”
Rimes also revealed that she almost didn’t even record “Blue” after her dad threw the song’s demo in the trash, a decision she said she “obviously” understood because the demo “was awful.” “It didn’t sound anything like the song that you hear now, but because of my defiance, I’m like, ‘I’m going to show my dad that this song’s great,'” she said. “By the time he got back, I’d put that little Yodel thing in there. Then he was like, ‘Oh, it’s like a different song.’ That’s really how that song came about, was this little girl who was just like, ‘I’m going to show my dad that I can make the song cool.'”
Moving towards what made her different ultimately served Rimes well and helped her become a major crossover success. The Grammy winner noted that her “unique artistry, and the way in which I was going to set my own trajectory and I was never going to be labeled,” was “very, very clear” from her first single and debut album.
“There was a real defiance in a way, but in a good way, that I was just going to do the things that I loved and I was going to tell the stories that I wanted to tell, and I was going to speak to truth in the way I knew how as a kid,” she said. “It was clearly set out for everyone on that record, more so than I realized, or anybody realized at the time.”