Reba McEntire Has ‘Strange’ Days Ahead
When it comes to giving country music fans the kind of show they deserve, Reba McEntire believes it's the women who deliver the goods. Considering that Carrie Underwood now reigns as the ACM Entertainer of the Year, it's hard to argue with that opinion.
"I've watched many, many decades of entertainers," Reba tells the Chicago Tribune. "And I will go watch females and be totally entertained. And when I watch the males, I love their singing, and their lights. But when the girls come on, you better know that they've come up with something new and innovative, and they're going to give you a show."
One of the highlights of this year's ACM Awards, which she also hosted for the 11th time, was Reba's debut performance of the new single, 'Strange,' which in itself delivers a healthy dose of girl power.
"It's a little bit different," explains the 54-year-old music icon, "It's tongue-in-cheek. It's a little bit about, you know, 'I'm supposed to be in love with this guy and really heartbroken, but I'm not.' So, it's a tough-woman song."
Though many of today's hottest female artists cite her as an influence, Reba admits it's artists like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson who continue to inspire her. In particular, her recent tour with Clarkson gave her plenty of reasons to step up her own game on the concert stage.
"I didn't get to stand in just certain areas ... I was rockin' right along with her. I was singing her songs, she was singing my songs. We never left the stage during the whole time. And it was a lot of fun. So, when I started looking for new material, that's what I was gravitating to: the more kick-butt type, more youthful-type, attitude songs."
Reba takes her performances seriously, but proves she also has a sense of humor. On April Fool's Day, comedian Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website was transformed for a day into "Reba or Die" -- replete with photos and videos covering her entire career. The entire site was reported to have been "sold" to Reba - for the sum of $350 million. No one got a bigger kick out of the gag than the singer herself.
"When I saw Roy Clark and myself on 'Hee Haw,' I died laughing," Reba says. "Oh my gosh, (my hair) was jacked up to Jesus! It was big hair, big hair from Oklahoma, Tennessee - yeah, I had it."
Reba McEntire's new album, her first for the Valory Music label, is due this summer.