LeAnn Rimes: New Album Had Nothing To Do With Me

Teenage superstar apologizes to fans for I Need You, blames record company.

In an open letter to her fans, LeAnn Rimes has disavowed the album I Need You, which Curb Records released Tuesday.

In her letter, posted on her official Web site, rimestimes.com, Thursday morning (February 1), Rimes also explained the reasoning behind her lawsuit against her father and other recent changes in her professional life.

"As many or all of you know," her letter begins, "this has been a difficult year for me!" She recounts that after turning 18 last year, she decided to straighten out her business affairs. "Unfortunately," she wrote, "in order to do that I had to file a lawsuit against my previous manager and my father."

Another objective, she said, was a record contract that she could live with, after having signed with Curb Records at age 12. The terms of that contract, she said, were never clearly explained to her. "I did not know, among other things," she wrote, "that the contract with Curb Records was for an initial period plus 6 option periods with multiple albums during each period. This is not fair. I chose at 18 to disaffirm the contract." In November, she filed suit against Curb Records, seeking to dissolve the contract.

Then, she says, she was "shocked" to learn in December that Curb planned to release a new album. "This album was made without my creative input," she said. "It consists largely of unfinished material and songs that didn't make other albums." Rimes wrote that the album is "not a reflection of myself as an artist but is solely the conception of Curb Records, and for that I am truly and deeply sorry."

I Need You (RealAudio excerpt of title cut), includes 10 songs, including two songs from the Coyote Ugly soundtrack ("But I Do Love You" and "Can't Fight the Moonlight" [RealAudio excerpt]) and a duet with Elton John ("Written in the Stars," which was released as a single on John's Rocket Records in February 1999), and lists five producers: Rimes herself; her father, Wilbur Rimes; Curb chairman Mike Curb; Chuck Howard; and Trevor Horn.

No Curb Records representative was available for a statement at presstime.