LeAnn Rimes dishes on 'Masked Singer' win, new music: 'I can't listen to it without crying'
Though her stint as the Sun on "The Masked Singer" has set, LeAnn Rimes is still lighting up the world with music.
Fresh off winning Season Four of Fox's hit singing-competition-slash-guessing-game, Rimes has released a new song and music video called "Throw My Arms Around The World".
"I don't think I've ever been more connected to the music I'm creating ever in my career than at this moment," said Rimes in an interview with USA TODAY, in which she also opened up about winning one of the most secretive competitions on TV.
According to the singer, "Throw My Arms" is more than just a catchy tune — it's a plea for people to "wake up" and change their lives.
In the song, Rimes sings about wanting to hold the world in her arms and "love it back to life." The bridge, which describes the powers of the individual person and of community, is "probably my favorite bridge I've ever written," she said.
"I can't listen to it without crying and dancing, all at the same time," she said. "It's so powerful. I'm just so blessed and grateful that I was a conduit for this message to come through."
The song, which will be part of her next studio album due early next year, marks a new stylistic territory for Rimes, whose past work has covered country, pop and even chants. As to what genre "Throw My Arms" is, Rimes said she has "no idea."
"It's a little bit of everything, and I think that's who I am as an artist," she said, adding she was inspired by the "earthy and ancient" sound of drums. "For me, there's never been really a box, and I've kind of genre-bended over several different genres of music. I think this just kind of broadens that a little bit more."
As for the music video, Rimes said she wanted to let fans "experience the love" that went into crafting the song, by compiling shots of studio footage.
"It was just a moment of pure passion with everyone that was there," she said of the behind-the-scenes music video.
The candid look at Rimes' creative process is a contrast to her time on "The Masked Singer," which saw her perform undercover as the Sun for several weeks. Though her identity was concealed, Rimes said her costume represented something important to her: Bringing light to a dark time.
"It was a bit overwhelming at first," she said. "I'm like, 'How do I animate the Sun?' But, it was fun to bring the costume to life, and I think people have truly connected with that character."
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As the Sun, Rimes belted out hits like Kesha's "Praying" and Billie Eilish's "When the Party's Over." But not every show went according to plan. While performing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," Rimes confessed she slipped on her costume's long cape, but played it off "like it was some kind of special move."
According to Rimes, performing as the Sun sometimes felt like singing in a corset.
"It was a challenge and one I'm glad I kind of surrendered to," she said. "I went home sore all the time. I definitely felt like I worked out every time I put that costume on."
Though her costume had its challenges, a bright spot for Rimes was landing in the final two with friend and past collaborator Aloe Blacc — and having no clue it was him. Rimes and Blacc previously duetted on Rimes' 2015 holiday album "Today is Christmas."
"He was warming up beside me backstage, and I heard his voice, and I'm like 'I know that voice,' " Rimes said. "I was thinking to myself, 'We should duet together,' and, sure enough, we already have!"
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Like clues on "The Masked Singer," Rimes said "Throw My Arms" is "a key piece for the puzzle of what's to come" on her next album. And, just like the Sun, she hopes her new music brings light to people's lives.
"I want people to put this on and just dance and feel and cry and laugh and any emotion that comes up," she said. "We're all in our own homes and disconnected, and I hope it just reminds people they're so not alone. Even though we are in our own spaces right now, we are so deeply connected and our power hasn't gone anywhere. We are more powerful than we know."
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