Country Throwback: Watch 8-Year-Old LeAnn Rimes Sing Marty Robbins Classic on ‘Star Search’

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Acey Harper/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

In a way, LeAnn Rimes has Marty Robbins to thank for her career. When she was 8-years-old, the singer performed Robbins’ classic “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” while on “Star Search”

For Rimes, this was her first introduction to the lime-light and fame that would encompass her entire life since. Audiences across the country watched the birth of a star. The reality competition show discovered several future musicians across its nearly decade run. Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake all appeared on the show back before they were famous.

In 1990, Rimes had her own shot at the “Star Search” title. And she used a classic country song to do it. Robbins first released the song in 1961. Competing against 11-year-old Levi Garrett, Rimes won the competition with 3.75 stars from the judges. But in our book, she earned four stars.

LeAnn Rimes Became the Youngest Grammy Award Winner

While she only lasted on the show for a week, the competition helped kick-off her musical career. In 1993, Rimes released her first album called “All That.” Later that year, record promoter Bill Mack reached out to Rimes about recording his song “Blue,” which he wrote in the 1950s.

Three years later, Rimes became the youngest artist to ever win a Grammy at age 14. Over the ensuing decades, Rimes has produced numerous songs and albums. Recently, she discussed becoming famous at such a young age and the price of fame.

“For me especially, there was this very wholesome little girl, this all-American girl, and then I went through a lawsuit with my father at 16 and my record label, and that was like a three-and-a-half-year ordeal,” she told Yahoo Entertainment. “Then I was the ‘spoiled brat’ — I mean, I was labeled so many things. When I think about it now, it’s just so crazy how instantly as a society, the expectations we place upon someone.”