LeAnn Rimes to headline music festival this weekend

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These days, LeAnn Rimes is in a good place. In a few more, she’ll be in an even better place: Colorado.

Rimes, who shot to stardom at the age of 13 with her swooning hit, “Blue,” and has since scored countless hits, is headlining this year’s Rocky Mountain Music Festival Aug. 11 at Clement Park.

In the midst of a 60-date tour supporting her latest album, “Spitfire,” Rimes is returning to familiar territory. She has historically been welcomed by the Centennial State with open arms, and performed at Gypsum Daze just three weeks ago.

In recent years, Rimes has been headlining magazines instead of festivals. Becoming a tabloid fixture — criticized for everything from weight loss to relationship issues to rehab stints to treat anxiety — was not exactly part of the career plan. But Rimes now seems to be taking it all in stride.

“It’s hard to tune it out when you deal with it every week, but the conversation has changed to my music again,” she said.

Citing husband Eddie Cibrian as a main support, Rimes says she has “weeded out anybody who didn’t need to be there” and, as a result, has become more content. She acknowledged that “it’s hard to write when you’re happy,” but she is able to channel any negative emotions into her newer, more rootsy material.

“I allow myself to go into darker places when I write, but I am happier and can pull myself out of it at the end of the day,” Rimes said.

Besides, maintaining an active presence on Twitter enables her to circumvent the rumors and talk directly with her fans. She receives encouragement from her devoted following and routinely tweets messages of positivity.

Ditching the drama means enjoying the finer things in life, like the side treks she takes while on tour. Aspen is among her favorite spots, and Rimes has tried her hand at snowboarding (she is still mastering toe-edge turns) and activities that have become perks of the job.

Much like her wanderings across the country, Rimes has been exploring her musical acumen and continues to churn out songs that resonate with fans and those just now discovering her. She is navigating the ever-changing landscape of the entertainment business, including dabbling in movies, but believes she is writing the best music of her career.

Rimes is following in the footsteps of idols such as Patsy Cline and Reba McIntyre, but also delving into contemporary artists like Ray Lamontagne who are forging their way in a music era in which meaningful lyrics seem to be an afterthought.

“I love people who have something to say and say it well,” Rimes says.

For information and tickets to the Rocky Mountain Music Festival, visit www.TheRockyMountainMusicFestival.com.