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August 28, 2014

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LeAnn Rimes’ voice as strong as ever in Treasure Island concert

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Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

LeAnn Rimes at the Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 5, 2009.

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Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, quarterback Troy Aikman, Aikman's manager and 10-year-old LeAnn Rimes at Aikman's fundraiser after winning Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor

Singer-songwriter-actress LeAnn Rimes has had a remarkable career since breaking out with her No. 1 country album Blue at age 13 in 1996. Blue would lead Rimes to two Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, making her the youngest Grammy winner ever and the first country music artist to win the coveted award. (Since then, Shelby Lynne and Carrie Underwood have won; Taylor Swift lost last year to Amy Winehouse.)

In the 14 years since Blue, Rimes has sold more than 50 million albums, won Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, American Music and Billboard Music awards and branched out into television, film and Broadway work. In the past year, her seven-year marriage ended in divorce. (For a trip down memory lane, check out our contributing photographer Tom Donoghue’s photograph of Rimes at Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman’s charity event after he won Super Bowl XXVII. Rimes is 10 and pictured with Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, Aikman and Aikman’s manager.)

Last night, 27-year-old Rimes took the Mystere Theatre stage at Treasure Island looking as beautiful as ever in a sleeveless, off-white, sheath dress and six-inch, light back stilettos, which she took off after her sixth song, “Commitment.” Rimes, her six-man band and lone female backup singer were set up somewhat awkwardly in the back of the stage, leaving Rimes to walk the stage to fill up the empty space and interact with her audience. No wonder she was so over her shoes!

Rimes’ 17-song set list performed in about 70 minutes was “Got You to Get Me,” “Criminal,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “Family,” “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way,” “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” “Commitment,” “Blue,” “How Do I Live,” “Nothin’ Better to Do,” “God Takes Care of Your Kind,” “What I Cannot Change,” “I Need You,” “Nothin’ ’Bout Love Makes Sense,” “Big Deal,” “You’ve Ruined Me” and, for her encore, Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

“Got You to Get Me,” “Criminal” and” “God Takes Care of Your Kind” are from her upcoming album, which Rimes says she’s currently working on in the studio. She says she wrote or co-wrote every song on the new release. One memorable moment: She was visually moved after singing the personal “What I Cannot Change,” in which she uses her breathtaking and rarely used upper range.

What is striking about Rimes’ voice is that it is as strong as ever and over the years has become more soulful and richer. Some of her contemporaries in country music today can only wish to have a voice with Rimes’ depth, power and range.

Rimes is back onstage tonight at 9 and then next Thursday and Friday for the final two shows in a six-concert run over three weeks at Treasure Island. Click HERE for Robin Leach’s story on Rimes last week.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter HERE.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter HERE.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter HERE.