LeAnn Rimes brings country to Kean University

By Sonia Aquije


LeAnn Rimes, the country/pop star who has sold some 37 million albums, will grace Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall with an acoustic performance on Oct. 26.

The American singer is on tour from October 2012 to March 2013 to promote the release of her 12th studio album “Spitfire”this spring.

Rimes said in an interview with New Castle News that she feels closer to her fans when performing for smaller crowds.

“I get to focus more on singing with a smaller audience and it feels more one-on-one, like you’re in my living room hanging out with me,” Rimes said in the interview. “There’s a real connection with my fans when you come to a show like this because I feel like they really get to know me.”

Rimes has been in the music business since 1996 with the release of her first album ‘Blue’ at the age of 13, and has sold over 37 million albums since. With Billboard hits such as “How Do I Live” and “Big Deal”, the two-time Grammy winner was the youngest to win the award in 1997 at age 13. With three Academy of Country Music Awards, and a Country Music Association Award, Rimes is accomplished, contemporary and ever-evolving.

Photo Credit: Sonia Aquije

“‘Spitfire’ is a special record to me and I feel like with each single we’ll be rolling out a story, not just singles,” said Rimes in a statement quoted in the Boston Music Spotlight. “I hope we created and wrote a story of your life, something to hold dear to your heart. I hold each and every song deep in my soul.”

Lindsay Gambini, executive director of Kean theater management and programming, is optimistic Rimes will deliver nothing less than excellence.

“We try doing shows at Enlow that aren’t strictly classical chamber music,” said Gambini. “We try to do a classical cross-over or a little bit of a bridge, but for the musicians we do choose for that purpose-they need to be very fine musicians and on top of their game. She is an amazing talent and has received lots of awards.”

This isn’t Kean’s first big star to perform at Enlow Recital Hall, but is the first artist whose music has roots in country.

“We’ve done jazz, blues, so it’s something new; different,” said Gambini. “Last year we did John Legend, which appealed to the students more, but we try to bring those types of people even in different genres. We’ve never really done anybody that leans towards country so there’s a chance to do something new.”

Booking an artist takes diligence, luck and perfect timing.

“A lot of booking has to do with luck and routing and I happened to notice that she had an open date between Massachusetts and one in Virginia therefore we can negotiate a better fee and actually get her,” said Gambini. “It’s partly luck and logistics and the desire to do something new.”

This particular artist isn’t only aimed for students but also outside of the Kean University community.

“We are pursuing more of an outside audience; we are running radio ads on WQXR,” said Gambini.

Tickets range from $55-$75 and can be purchased in person at Kean University’s Wilkins Theater Box office or by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908-737-7469, or online at http://enlowhall.kean.edu/.

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