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Jean Oelrich
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(714) 876-2380
joelrich@pacificsymphony.org

It’s a very merry “Christmas With LeAnn Rimes” when the vocal superstar joins Pacific Symphony for the very first time!

November 26, 2013

Spend Christmas with Pacific Symphony and LeAnn Rimes! It’s a heartwarming holiday celebration when the orchestra welcomes to the stage the two-time Grammy Award-winning country/pop singer on Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 19-21, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Rimes’ sweet southern charm and big, rich voice embrace the holiday spirit as she performs songs from her Christmas album, “What a Wonderful World,” plus fan favorites such as “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” all backed by the lush sounds of the Symphony. Breaking into the country music scene at age 13 with the release of the hit song and album, “Blue,” Rimes became the youngest person to ever win a Grammy—and then went on to sell more than 37 million records worldwide. Now 31 and having just released her 14th album, “Spitfire,” the former prodigy has become known for her easy banter between songs, warm smile and undeniable talent.

“[LeAnn] graciously bows her head in gratitude after each song and performs with such great élan that it elicits goosebumps,” wrote Miami Living.

The evening’s merriment also includes Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman leading the orchestra in a selection of Christmas songs, plus, ventriloquist Jay Johnson and Bob deliver a delightful narration of “The Night Before Christmas.” Tickets for “Christmas with LeAnn Rimes” are $35-$185; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

“Our Christmas concert will be extra special as LeAnn Rimes makes her Pacific Symphony Pops debut,” says Kaufman, who celebrates his 23rd season with the Symphony. “LeAnn will bring her own special magic to the performance, and I’m so happy that she will be joining us!

“This year on the first half, we are presenting wonderful arrangements by the great David Rose of two of the most well-known songs of Christmas: ‘The Christmas Waltz’ and ‘The Christmas Song,’ as well as his own composition ‘The Christmas Tree.’ And we always tell the story of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ with a guest narrator. This year, I am thrilled that Tony Award-winning Jay Johnson will be with us. Jay is one of the world’s greatest ventriloquists. It will be a ‘Night Before Christmas’ to remember!”

The program also features “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson and a very merry sing-along to traditional holiday songs “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Deck the Halls.”

“Christmas is such a special time of year, especially with the world in such great need of peace and joy,” says Kaufman. “I love the fact that our Pacific Symphony Christmas Pops performance gives our audiences the opportunity to find the joy, the magic and the true meaning of the season.”

Bursting onto the stage as an 8-year-old champion on the original Ed McMahon version of “Star Search,” Rimes released the Bill Mack song “Blue” when she was 13 to become the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972. Rimes made her breakthrough into country music in 1996 with her debut album, “Blue,” which reached No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and was certified multiplatinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album’s eponymous leadoff single, “Blue,” was originally intended to be recorded by Patsy Cline in the early 1960s. It became a Top 10 hit and Rimes gained national acclaim for her similarity to Cline’s vocal style. When she released her sophomore studio effort in 1997, “You Light up My Life: Inspirational Songs,” she moved toward country pop material, which set the trend for a string of albums released into the next decade.

Rimes has won many awards, including two Grammys, three Academy of Country Music Awards, a Country Music Award, 12 Billboard Music Awards and one American Music award. She has also released 10 studio albums and four compilation CDs through her record label of 13 years, Asylum-Curb, and placed more than 40 singles on American and international charts since 1996. She has sold over 37 million records worldwide, with 20.3 million album sales in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. Billboard ranked her the 17th most popular artist of the 1990-00 decade. On her birthday this past August, Rimes serenaded thousands, including President Obama, with “Amazing Grace” at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The Friday, Dec. 20, performance is generously sponsored by Dan Smith. Pacific Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from The Westin South Coast Plaza, American Airlines, K-Earth 101 and PBS SoCal.