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Remember When LeAnn Rimes Competed on ‘Star Search’?

LeAnn Rimes shot to overnight stardom in 1996 with the release of ‘Blue,’ becoming the youngest singer ever to win a Grammy for Best New Artist at age 14. But she actually got her first taste of the national spotlight years before that.

In 1990, eight-year-old Rimes competed on ‘Star Search,’ the long-running entertainment competition. Dressed in a colorful skirt and sporting a bouffant hairstyle worthy of a country queen, the already-veteran singer belted out a strong, polished version of the country classic ‘Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,’ beating 11-year-old Levi Garrett by earning 3.75 stars from the judges.

Though her reign on the show lasted for just one week, it still served as an important springboard. She began playing shows all over her home state of Texas, and in 1993 she released her first album, ‘All That,’ independently. That same year she met a DJ and record promoter named Bill Mack, who thought her voice would be perfect for a song of his called ‘Blue.’ He’d written it in the ’50s and recorded and released it himself, and it had been covered unsuccessfully by several other artists over the decades. After Mack heard Rimes sing, he suggested she record the song — and the rest is history.

See LeAnn Rimes + Other Country Stars as Kids

NEXT: Remember When Sylvester Stallone Was a Country Singer?

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