LeAnn Rimes on Winning 'Masked Singer' and Getting to 'Embrace' Her 'Rebellious Side' (Exclusive)
By Zach Seemayer
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The Masked Singer season 4 came to an end on Wednesday and the coveted Golden Mask trophy was awarded to The Sun. After a dynamic season of powerful performances, The Sun unmasked and revealed herself to be none other than celebrated songstress LeAnn Rimes.
Rimes repeatedly brought the celebrity panel to tears performing a wide variety of songs from different genres that were a perfect showcase for her vocal talents. Speaking with ET's Nischelle Turner on Thursday, Rimes explained that it was all part of her efforts to prove how she's a unique talent not confined by preconceptions.
"There was so much thought that went into the costume and the song choices, it was a lot of work," Rimes shared. "I really had a very specific story that I wanted to tell and The Sun was like this very visual representation of everything I'm putting out in the world right now with my own music."
For Rimes, trying to push boundaries and subvert expectations has been a constant challenge.
"I started out with Blue, and very, very, deep country, and you know, then crossed over. And I kind of got my hand slapped for that," she recalled. "The lines weren't as blurred as they are now and that wasn't invited."
"I've kind of fought that for a long time of people not knowing where to put me and they want to put me in a box and the more people want to do that, the more I want to claw my way out of it," she continued. "It's just my rebellious side."
Rimes explained that she "got to really kind of embrace that on this show and actually celebrate that. 'Cause every song was different, from a different genre."
Although being The Sun also brought its own challenges -- such as a constricting, difficult and elaborate costume that was far different than anything she'd performed in before.
"It was definitely heavy, and being a singer, of course singing is my focus. Like, I don't care what I look like, I don't care what move I'm doing, I have to sound good," she shared. "So it was challenging to work with that much weight on my body when trying to sing these, like, really powerful songs."
During her time on the show, it turns out that only two people, including her husband, Eddie Cibrian, knew she was involved.
"Eddie was the only person who knew. Eddie and my manager. The kids did not know," Rimes shared.
The couple are parents to two sons -- Mason, 17, and Jake, 13 -- whom Cibrian shares and co-parents with ex-wife Brandi Glanville.
"I told [the kids] last night, I looked at them at the dinner table I was like, 'I can finally tell you, I was on The Mask Singer,'" Rimes said. "My little one, he goes, 'Dang it! I lost a bet with my mom.' I was like, 'Sorry, bud.'"
While she kept her role on the show a secret, many Masked Singer fans thought the clues pointed to her early on in the season. However, Rimes managed to keep the truth hidden when she spoke with ET back in November and deftly denied she was The Sun.
"I have been on that show now every season that it's been on. I have my whole Twitter account is always flooded," Rimes told ET at the time. So I'll forever be on that show, even next year... I am not on The Masked Singer."
Looking back at her previous denial, Rimes joked that she was so worried she'd not done a good job shooting the rumor down.
"When I got off that interview, I was like, 'Did they believe me?!'" she shared. "And I can't lie because it just shows right here on my face."
Rimes beat out Nick Carter -- who came in third place as The Crocodile -- and Aloe Blacc -- who wound up the runner-up as The Mushroom -- to earn the Golden Mask. She has now joined the likes of previous Golden Mask champions T-Pain, Wayne Brady and Kandi Burruss.
An all-new season of The Masked Singer is set to debut on Fox in the spring. Check out the video below for more on this season of the hit reality series.