CHRISTMAS BELLE

Singing sensation LeAnn Rimes gets set for her busiest holiday ever!

With her first-ever Christmas album, her second children's book in stores, a Christmas tour ready to go and a new CD on tap for January, LeAnn Rimes is moving faster this holiday season than Santa's sleigh with an afterburner!

"This is going to be a great wrap-up for the year," beams LeAnn, as she talks excitedly about her new What a Wonderful World Christmas album. "All seven traditional songs are the favorites I sang as a kid, from 'White Christmas' to 'O Holy Night.' And since I worked with the Brian Setzer Orchestra they have a very big sound."

LeAnn co-wrote three original songs for the album, including one with her husband, Dean Sheremet.

" 'A Different Kind of Christmas' is about how many people's lives changed at Christmas after the Sept. 11 tragedy. Dean was one of my co-writers on 'Just Love Me,' a swamp blues Christmas song. And 'Miss You Like Christmas' is about a woman seeing the love of her life who got away and how she misses him."

LeAnn will sing songs from the album on her 12-city "symphonic Christmas" tour, which kicks off Nov. 28 in Red Bank, N.J., and ends Dec. 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Acclaimed conductor, composer and arranger Frank McNamara will conduct the 65-piece symphony orchestras backing her dynamic vocals.

LeAnn made sure the tour wrapped in time for her to be home for Christmas. "I love Christmas," she explains, "and since I've been with Dean, it's even more magical. This year we're going to have Christmas at our house. My mom and dad will be there, so it'll be great."

- Larry Holden

To read more about LeAnn Rimes' Christmas album, pick up the new Country Weekly on newsstands today!

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