It has been a busy year for LeAnn Rimes. She's made numerous appearances around the world, appeared on America's Got Talent, filmed a movie for CMT and now has a new album in stores. I was blessed to be able to chat with LeAnn for a few minutes over the phone to talk about the new album, her experiences with the homeless youth of Chicago and her possible Twitter addiction.My history with LeAnn goes back many years to a casino in Connecticut where I was treated with a meet and greet with the young star. I had heard for many years that she was a very sweet young lady who truly appreciates her fans and has love in her heart for anyone that needed it. Once LeAnn entered the room to meet all of us, I immediately felt that love engulf the room. Her warm smile, the time she spent with each fan and the true appreciation of the people being there was apparent from the beginning all the way down the line to me.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few extra minutes with her talking about music and just life in general. What I took away from that meeting was that LeAnn is genuine.

She doesn't put on a fake smile because she has to, she has a smile on her face because she is doing what she loves and meeting the fans that she adores.

A few years later, I was fortunate enough to again get to go backstage to meet LeAnn at a different show. To my surprise, she remembered my name, remembered where we had met and even remembered our conversation.

I meet people all the time and never forget a face, but I have a big problem remembering names. For LeAnn to remember my name made me see that she valued our meeting as much as I did.

Fast forward a couple more years and LeAnn returned to the area I was in. This time I figured I wouldn't intrude on LeAnn and declined the offer for a meet and greet. Not because I didn't want to see her again, I just didn't want to seem like a stalker. I did however wind up standing right next to the stage during the concert. LeAnn was on stage performing, working the crowd and made her way down the catwalk to the side I was standing on. She locked eyes with me, a huge smile appeared on her face and she waved saying hello to me. I knew at that moment, she remembered me once again and I felt her appreciation of me coming right off the stage.

We have all seen the tabloids on the news stands or read the gossip blogs that talk trash about LeAnn saying some very hurtful things and not stopping just with her. These tabloids have drug her family, her relationships and her friends right down the drain with her.

First of all, I don't believe any of it. LeAnn is such an open person and shares so much of her personal life with her fans that I know in my heart that if she did it, she would tell her friends and fans about it personally. She doesn't need a big magazine splash to tell her business. Second, the big question I have for anyone reading this and thinking the gossip magazines have it right is... How would you feel if someone followed you around recording every word you said, then used those words in pieces to make you look like a monster? I know I say things all throughout the day that if taken out of context would make me look like the biggest jerk on the planet, but when in context make complete sense.

How about the whole eating thing? People say LeAnn needs to eat a sandwich and have speculated that she has an eating disorder. Here's what I have to say to that. For as long as I have known LeAnn, she has been a tiny little lady so to think that she has an eating disorder all of a sudden is ridiculous. Everyone's metabolism is different, everyone's body is different and to think that something is wrong with another person just because you "THINK" they should be a certain weight is wrong. To those, take a good, long look in the mirror and make sure that you are perfect before casting stones at someone else.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let's move forward to my chat with LeAnn.

I have followed LeAnn on Twitter for a while and have seen her posts and now she has a blog on her website and she truly pours her heart out right onto the screen. She shares her life with her readers,

her personal experiences and her personal thoughts without a filter and it is truly eye-opening to read her life right there on screen for anyone to read and share in her life journey with kids, a career and her own life-changing experiences.

Watching her Twitter feed can be interesting and sometimes excessive. Out of everyone I follow, LeAnn shows up more in my feed than anyone. She'll tweet her own thoughts, then re-tweet a few thoughts from others, then give an update on the new album, then say something about how lucky she is to have great fans, a great husband and wonderful children, etc. It seems she is on it constantly and I got to thinking... hmmm, maybe LeAnn is a little addicted to Twitter, so I asked her about it!




I caught LeAnn's performance on America's Got Talent where she performed her new song Give along with the Silhouettes.



She also worked with the homeless youth of Chicago to film the emotional video for the song that she says changed her life forever. LeAnn recalls the experience she had off camera with these young kids that have no one in their lives that care about them. She says it was a beautiful, moving day that she will never forget.



It amazes me that LeAnn has time to record an album, make appearances around the globe and still find time to spend with her family. In fact, added to her schedule this year was filming a movie for CMT. Reel Love will premiere on CMT on November 13. The film stars Burt Reynolds playing LeAnn's "pain in the butt" father and LeAnn says she is proud of the film and can't wait for it to release.



LeAnn Rimes Album

The true reason for our conversation was to talk about LeAnn's new album Lady And Gentlemen - in stores now.

This album has two brand new songs on it from LeAnn and twelve remakes of classic country songs that were originally sung by men. We're talking country music's leading men like Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and George Jones.

These leading classic men praise the new album and tell LeAnn that she has done a wonderful job breathing life into these old songs. I would have to agree with them. LeAnn has taken these songs that we all grew up with and given them her "woman's touch".

It isn't often that an artist will take on a project like this and I couldn't help but ask LeAnn who she recorded this album for? I knew there had to be a reason she would take the chance and remake songs that were great in their original form. LeAnn says she grew up on these songs and made the album for herself.



Pick up your copy of Lady And Gentlemen wherever you like to purchase music and enjoy the timeless songs with a fresh coat of "Rimes" paint!

I have learned several things from LeAnn over the years.

1) Always smile - and mean it

2) Love those that matter the most to you

3) Live every day to the fullest and have no regrets

4) Be kind to everyone - it could be the only act of kindness they see all day

5) Be who you are and own it

No matter what gossip you may hear or what impression you personally have of LeAnn Rimes, you can't deny the fact that she is talented, grounded, humbled and in my eyes one of the nicest women in country music.

If I ever get the chance to sit with LeAnn, open a bottle of wine and talk until it runs out, I would jump at the chance. Thank you LeAnn for spending time with me over the phone and keep on smiling!