When Reba McEntire will return as host of the 2018 ACM Awards, it will be her 15th time to take over hosting duties. And through the years, McEntire has learned what does, and doesn't, work to make a hosting job successful.
"Look relaxed, if you are or not," she tells Billboard. "Look like you’re having a good time. It will keep the audience relaxed and everybody in a great mood. Keep it flowing. The hardest work is making sure that everything is going to be set with our dialogue, costuming, make sure everything is ready to go before we ever walk out on stage. Be prepared, know your material and then get out there and have a wonderful time.
"If I’m a nervous wreck or I’m mad, the audience can tell it immediately," she continues, "so it’s your responsibility as an entertainer, as a host, to go out there and have a good time. Put everybody at ease and it will be the best night ever."
The live broadcast of the 2018 ACM Awards will include a tribute to those who lost their lives during the devastating Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting last fall. In a night that is supposed to be celebratory and fun, the singer says it's important to honor those affected by the tragedy.
"That is a very critical and important thing to do," McEntire insists. "We do pay tribute, we pay honor to those who were victims of that shooting and then we remind everybody that we are Americans and we do not let that shut us down. We will go on, we will have a great time that night and we’re going to have fun for them and remember them."
"We’ve got to be strong," adds McEntire. "Americans are strong. We’ve been through a lot of stuff where people have tried to tear us down and make us weaker, but we are not. We will gather up and huddle up. We will hug. We’ll remember, we’ll cry and we’ll move forward, but never will we ever forget what happened."
McEntire, who is continuing her Vegas residency with Brooks & Dunn this year, recently won a GRAMMY for her gospel album, Sing It Now, and became the first female celebrity to take on the role as KFC's Colonel Sanders. She also went public with her relationship with boyfriend, Skeeter Lasuzzo, making her current state of affairs better than ever.
"I’m loving life," McEntire says. "I'm having a great time. I’m working. My personal life is great. As they say, I’m batting 1000 right now, and I give credit to God and thank Him very much for all the things I’m getting to do at the level I’m getting to do it. I’ve always played hard and worked hard and that’s never stopped, but it seems to me that things are really clicking and I’m just having a blast with it."0comments
The 2018 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 15, at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: Instagram/Reba