January 5

Before Someone Lighted LeAnn’s Life, There Was “Blue”


Many loved LeAnn Rimes’ “You Light up My Life”. But before this song even became popular, “Blue” happened– a song that brought flying colors to LeAnn’s country music career.

It Wasn’t Blue After All

Bill Mack, an American songwriter-country artist, and country radio disc jockey wrote the song. In 1996, Curb records released LeAnn Rimes’s single of “Blue” that later on reached heights. The album “Blue” sold 123,000 copies in its first week, the highest figure in Sound Scan history at that time. It peaked at number one on the Top Country Albums and reached number three on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Sure, it sold four million copies in the United States and eight million copies worldwide. This heartache ballad jammed not just teenagers like LeAnn Rimes that time, also old souls looking for mellow music.

Before Someone Lighted LeAnn’s Life, There Was “Blue” 1

Out of The Blue, the Song Found LeAnn

Opposing the then views of listeners, Bill Mack denied that Patsy Cline was his inspiration for writing the song. He claimed that he wrote the song for Cline, when in fact he did not have Cline in mind when he wrote it. He claimed that the most remarkable inspiration he had was a billboard and his attempt to create note changes on a new guitar.

Then, he wrote the song in just 15 minutes while picking his new guitar in his home. He added that the melody and lyrics came to him to which his wife named as the best song she ever heard.

Following his wife’s request, Mack recorded his song the soonest he can. The song, however, was not often played and was sold just as fair. This lead Mack to hire a local female singer. A friend recommended Patsy Cline to him with hopes to make the song a hit. Mack then gave a tape to Cline’s husband Charlie Dick. Unfortunately, Cline died in a plane crash in 1963 before she could record it. Hence, the song found the young LeAnn Rimes. By age 11, LeAnn recorded her first album on an independent label only available in local stores which caught the attention of Curb Records. In 1996, at age 14, LeAnn recorded a major-label album featuring Bill Mack’s “Blue”. It was a multi-platinum hit for LeAnn Rimes, in 1996.  With her grand rendition, she won Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.

Undoubtedly, Rimes displayed an unrestrained power and brightness you’d expect from a teenager. Most of her songs back then call for a level of experience that’s obviously beyond her years. She has been blessed with such glorious voice and was able to maintain it even after her teenage years.

Here’s the 14-year-old LeAnn recording her first ever hit song.


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