Reba McEntire on Her Busy Schedule: ‘I Guess I’m Either Stupid or Fearless’
Reba McEntire has a number of goals and desires for her life, and being idle isn't one of them. The 61-year-old will return to Las Vegas with her good friends Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, for their Together in Vegas residency, this year, and will also hopefully star in a new TV show, not to mention release her latest album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. For some, that might seem an arduous list, but for McEntire, it's the only way she knows how to operate.
"I just like to do things. I like to stay busy. I like to try new things," McEntire tells The Boot. "I guess I’m either stupid or fearless. I don’t know which -- maybe both.
"When I was doing Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway, an interviewer said, ‘Aren’t you scared to death to walk out there, because you’ve never been in a play before?’ I’m like, ‘Crap, I never thought about that!’" McEntire recalls. "I just love to try new things. If I fail, I tried, but I just like to get out there and try it."
McEntire, who previously starred in the TV shows Reba and Malibu Country, is cautiously optimistic that her new show, described as a "Southern Gothic soap opera," currently in development for ABC, will come to fruition.
"With television, it’s always a 'hold your breath and wait' [scenario], because things can change in a minute. Like, with Malibu Country, I thought we were going into the second season, and I land in Africa and get the phone call: 'Nope, you’re not picked up,'" McEntire says. "So, when it’s happening, I’ll be able to exhale and enjoy it. I’m so excited right now. To be able to work with [writer and producer] Marc Cherry is a dream come true. He is such a nice man, and a genius."
Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas will begin its 2017 run on Feb. 22 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The show, which launched in 2015, is one way that the longtime friends stay connected.
"I’m really excited to go back to Vegas," McEntire confesses. "I love Ronnie and Kix with all my heart. We’re the dynamic trio, and we get out there and have fun and make fun of each other. I miss them when I’m not around them ... I just miss them.
"I look forward to every night," she continues. "You never know what they’re going to do. They’ll surprise me every once in a while, so I’m always on the lookout for that. It keeps me on my toes. They’re fun, they’re genuine, and I love them. They love me; we’re like family. And they’re very smart and intelligent, witty and very mischievous, so you’ve got to stay on your toes."
McEntire will also be headlining two shows at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Feb. 15. The concerts, which mark the singer's first time performing on the iconic Ryman stage, both sold out quickly.
"We’ve been really putting a lot of thought, a lot of time, in what we’re going to do, what’s going to make it special, what’s going to make it different," the Oklahoma native shares. "I’m really excited about it."
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Really, McEntire hasn't taken much of a break since her career began with the release of her debut single, "I Don't Want to Be a One Night Stand," 40 years ago -- but that suits her just fine.
"The only time I ever say I want to take a break is when I’ve been on vacation, because in the middle of the vacation, I’m like, ‘Why don’t I do this all the time?’" says McEntire. "And at the end of the vacation, I’m like, ‘I’m so ready to get back to work.'"
McEntire might be one of the most ambitious country artists ever, and she isn't slowing down anytime soon. When asked if there's anything else she still wants to do, the icon says that she just wants to keep working.
"I don’t have anything ... that I want to do that I haven’t done," McEntire confesses. "I just like what I have done, [and] I just want to do it again, like a TV show, movie, Broadway, more concerts, work with different people, tour with different people, sing with different people, and also the ones I’ve gotten to sing with in the past."
McEntire's gospel album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, will be released on Feb. 3. The double-disc project, which features both hymns and contemporary Christian songs, is one that the artist says she felt called to release.
"I really do believe that timing is everything. And that everything happens for a reason when it happens," McEntire notes. "So now is the perfect timing. I don’t really understand why, but it just worked out to be the time for me to do a gospel album."
Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes. A list of all of McEntire's upcoming shows is available on her website.
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