Rimes Plans Low-key Birthday, Produces Next Record

Musical prodigy LeAnn Rimes has resisted references to her youth since bursting onto the country scene at 13. That should all become moot Aug. 28, when Rimes turns 18 and becomes a legal adult. She has no special plans for the big day, her publicist says. She’ll just “celebrate with friends on the d-l.” (That’s “the down low” for the unhip out there.) Meanwhile, Rimes’ contributions to the Coyote Ugly soundtrack helped push the soundtrack to No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart. Rimes now is focusing her attention on her own new disc, due in early 2001. No word yet on whether it is a pop or country project, but Rimes reportedly is writing and producing this time out. The singer recently returned to her tour schedule after throat problems forced her to cancel a few dates back in July. US Weekly reports that Rimes also has been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, which causes chronic fatigue. Her publicist could not confirm the diagnosis.