LeAnn Rimes on Turning 40: ‘Wouldn’t Be 22 Again If You Paid Me!’

LeAnn Rimes celebrated her 40th birthday over the weekend, and in marking the special occasion, she offered her thoughts about what that day means to her.

In a chat with People, the country-artist-turned-reality-star and wife of Eddy Cibrian shared her excitement about leaving her 30s — and her 20s — behind and entering into a new phase of life.

“I wouldn’t be 22 again if you paid me!” Rimes admits, adding that she is embracing a wiser version of herself. “As a child, I remember thinking 40 was so old. But now that I’m there, I feel like I have so much life under my belt. I’m much wiser.”

Rimes was born Aug. 28, 1982. She found fame as an adolescent, first gaining national exposure at age eight with a successful two-week run as champion on the former talent reality show Star Search. At 13, she was already topping the country charts with her powerful rendition of Bill Mack’s “Blue,” which earmarked her debut album of the same name. She also enjoyed crossover success in the pop world early on with her powerful rendition of “How Do I Live,” which became one of her best-selling singles of the ’90s.

Acknowledging her early rise to fame, Rimes says at 40, she is now able to take back control of her life — something she had trouble managing in her younger years. These days, the star, who is known to share inspirational posts on her social media pages, is focusing primarily on self-care and personal health.

“A big part of my life has been overriding my body because I’ve had to show up and be on all the time,” she says. “I’ve had to care about what people think of me for so long. About six months ago, I started really focusing on taking care of myself … So not abandoning myself and what I need has been a big shift.”

In making changes to her daily routine, she plans to opt for more protective wear when it comes to picking out apparel or accessories.

“For the most part, I’ve completely ditched high heels,” the Grammy-winning artist says. “Why did we do that to ourselves?”

Rimes insists the celebrations of turning 40 with her husband by her side have only just begun.

“We have three celebrations planned,” she reveals. “I’m at that point where I’m seriously ready. I’m over my thirties. Let’s get to 40!”

“We have taught each other a lot,” she adds of Cibrian, 49. “I appreciate us getting older together as adults who are growing and shifting. And Eddie has never been afraid of my evolution.”

Rimes’ artistry has also evolved: She is currently on the road as part of her the Story… So Far Tour and is gearing up to release her new album, God’s Work. The deeply-personal project is slated for Sept. 1.

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