In 2006, CMT invited then-24-year-old LeAnn Rimes to sing Reba McEntire’s 1992 classic hit “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” for a tribute special. And the Texas native didn’t disappoint, moving everyone to tears with her knock-out-of-the-park rendition, including the original singer who was sitting in the front row.
Rimes may be young – one of the youngest in the lineup for the CMT Giant Concert at Los Angeles Kodak Theatre Concert for a Reba McEntire special – but she was a seasoned pro in performing. Remember that 11-year-old girl who nailed “Blue” by Bill Mack? Yes, that’s her.
With a decade of music career, she didn’t fall far behind the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Barbara Mandrell, who also took the stage to serenade McEntire.
The Live Rendition
When LeAnn Rimes walked down to the center stage, she immediately captured everyone’s attention with her gorgeous visuals and equally stunning dress. Then, as soon as she started singing, she blew them all away.
The emotive force was at full throttle, and Rimes herself couldn’t help but blink back tears. The singer was close to her dad, Wilbur Rimes. Like many child stars, Rimes’ parents worked hard to realize her dreams. Her dad, in particular, watched out for her. “He’ll help me with my singing, does the sounds,” she said. But a year after she officially released “Blue,” her parents divorced, and she and her dad have had a tumultuous relationship following that. And it wasn’t until a few years before this performance that they reconciled.
Those feelings definitely poured over as she sang, and everyone, including McEntire, was in tears. Then, when she finished her performance, she stepped off the stage and walked towards the Queen of Country, who was already on her feet and clapping along with everyone else. The two hugged and shared a short conversation, with McEntire telling her she had done a wonderful job. To which she responded saying, “Thank you so much.”
After that, Rimes paid her respect to McEntire’s parents, Jacqueline and Clark, with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Witness LeAnn Rimes’ heart-tugging rendition of “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” in the video below.
LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire