LeAnn Rimes on Songs, Soul and Joss Stone

New Episode of CMT Crossroads Debuts Friday

Editors note: CMT Crossroads: Joss Stone and LeAnn Rimes premieres Friday (Dec. 7) at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

LeAnn Rimes simply can’t say enough good things about Joss Stone, her musical partner for a new episode of CMT Crossroads.

“I adore her. I adore Joss so much. We have so much fun together,” says Rimes. “You feel the energy jump off the screen. We had a blast together. I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done with another artist. It was so much fun. She’s a good girl.”

Rimes says her own new CD, Family, has a bit of the older soul sound that permeates Stone’s famous debut album, The Soul Sessions, from 2004. (One of the highlights of Stone’s disc is a cover of Harlan Howard’s “The Chokin’ Kind.”) Both women were teenagers when the whirlwind of fame swept in. Stone is now 20, and Rimes is 25. Both artists have new albums out, with songs primarily from their own pen, although their inspirations are diverse.

“I feel very comfortable in that [soul] format, and she had a lot of fun dipping into my side of the world also,” Rimes says. “She knows nothing about country music, but she knows my music. She said, ’I know country music. I know LeAnn Rimes.'” After a giggle, Rimes adds, “She’s just a doll. We really did have fun dabbling in each other’s worlds. We’re actually thinking about … touring eventually because we really, really had a lot of fun and so we want to do it again.”

Rimes, of course, is a Texas native whose first hit, the twangy “Blue,” made waves in 1996, eventually leading to pop successes like “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” Stone is from Devon, England, but earned four Grammy nominations and appeared on countless TV shows stateside to promote The Soul Sessions. Because of their distinctive styles and relentless media schedules, both artists are well-known among music fans in the U.S. and England, and Rimes is especially grateful for her wide-ranging appeal.

“For me, I’ve dabbled in everything, and I have so many different kinds of audiences and different people who listen to my music,” she said. “I’ve been blessed with that and a worldwide audience so that I can easily cross over to that [soul] genre,” she says. “And her crossing over into my world has been really interesting, but she does it so well. Like she said, she loves songs with great stories, and that’s what country music is all about. She’s such a powerful, emotional singer, and I think my songs lend themselves to that also. We both really worked well in each other’s worlds. It was fun. She’s a good girl, she really is. I love her to death.”

VH1 Radio contributed to this report.