Reba McEntire Keeps on Loving Gay Fans, Too
Reba McEntire's long-awaited album, 'Keep on Loving You' was released this week, and the superstar says she chose that title as a tribute to her fans. In an interview with Out.com, a website for the gay community, Reba says that includes all of her fans.
Addressing her more conservative fans who may not appreciate or understand her being interviewed in a gay publication, Reba says simply, "I just try not to judge. Don't judge me, and I won't judge you. And that's what it says in the Bible -- 'Don't judge.'"
Keep an open mind," the singer continues. "That would be my voice. I have gay friends. I have a lot of straight friends. I don't judge them. I take them for what they are. They're my friends, and I can't defend my feelings for them, other than I like 'em."
Reba joins Martina McBride as one of her few fellow country artists to be profiled by Out or any other gay publication. Martina's interview appeared on their website earlier this year, just prior to her album, 'Shine,' topping the country chart and hitting the pop Top 10. So, does Reba believe country music is ready for an openly gay artist?
"I can't say for sure," she responds with a laugh, "but anything is possible."
Asked for her thoughts on same-sex marriage, Reba replies, "Again, I can't judge that. I have gay friends who have partners, and I see where they would want to get married. I understand why. So, I can't judge that."
And although for many the issue of gay marriage may be complicated, for Reba and Narvel Blackstock, her husband of 20 years, the secrets to a a successful relationship are simple: "Respect, faith, love, trust, and lots of patience," she offers.
Reba also addresses the challenges of staying in touch with her fans, and how to stay current in the ever-changing musical climate.
"We're all into the computers now," says the tech-saavy entertainer. "I don't know how many computers I own. I'm into Twitter. I tweet all my "Tweebas." I also do the blogs, the chats, and all this Facebook kind of stuff. You've got to stay current and up with the competition. The main thing, though, is finding the greatest songs you can possibly find."
In terms of keeping herself and her music relevant to today's audience - the singer who's been hitting - and topping - the charts since 1976, says, "You have to go with the times. Country music today is what pop was back in the '70s. You listen to '70s pop and by gosh, that's country music today. That's what is so great about being able to record a 13-song album. You can do a very eclectic group of songs. You do have some almost pop songs in there, but you do have your traditional country, story songs. You have your ballads, your happy songs, your sad songs, your love songs, and your feisty songs. If you only had one song you could put out to be heard, it would be like putting out a book a year."