By 1988, country superstar Reba McEntire had already scored a dozen No. 1 country songs and had been named CMA Female Vocalist four years in a row. Fans were clamoring to meet her and to get an autograph, but the singer took it all in stride, which she continues to do to this day.

"People always come up for a picture or autograph and say, 'I hate to bother you and I know you're busy,'" Reba tells GAC. "But I love talking with the fans."

And it was in 1988 that a close encounter with one of her own idols, acting legend Jimmy Stewart ('It's a Wonderful Life'), found Reba echoing those familiar words she frequently hears from fans.

"There was this time years ago on a TV special with Bob Hope in San Diego," recalls the singer. "I was in hair and make-up, barely had any make-up on, my hair was up in rollers, and this woman walked in and said 'James Stewart is in the building!' Well, I am a huge Jimmy Stewart fan, so I immediately jumped up, went to my purse and grabbed my camera and asked the woman to take my picture with Jimmy. And what's funny is what do I do? I walk up to him and say, 'Mr. Stewart, I hate to bother you and I know you're busy, but...' and ask him for the picture! But, I got my picture and it hangs in my house in Nashville. I am so proud of that one."

Reba, who named her management company Starstruck Entertainment, will no doubt leave more than a few lucky fans starstruck in Nashville next week. She's planning to sign autographs at the CMA Music Festival for the first time in 13 years!