Reba McEntire has spent more than four decades in country music, witnessing all the various trends that have come and gone in the genre. Still, even she admits she is ready for one style of music to disappear.
“This ‘bro’ thing has lasted a lot longer than I thought it would,” McEntire told the Washington Post. “I’m ready for it to change.”
The country music icon wants women to have at least equal footing with their male counterparts – something that she believes is long overdue.
"I saw it quick,” McEntire said of the disparity between male and female artists. “And you don’t complain. You don’t bitch. You don’t cry. You work twice as hard and try to find a better way to do things. And that’s what I did.”
McEntire has had one of the most illustrious careers in country music. The 63-year-old has sold more than 60 million albums and celebrated 32 No. 1 singles, but she insists it isn't because of her talent — or at least not just her talent. Instead, McEntire says she just wanted it more than anyone else, and was willing to do whatever it took to get what she wanted.
“There’s a lot of people, a lot of girl singers, who are 10,000 times better than me,” McEntire maintained. “They don’t have the drive. They don’t have the work ethic. They don’t have the want-to, and they don’t love it as much as I do. And they’re not willing to sacrifice what it takes to do this.”
The Oklahoma native — who has starred in Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway, as well as her own Reba TV show, and currently enjoys her own residency in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn — still works hard to perfect both her show and her music, day after day, and night after night.
"You don’t have to be the best,” McEntire maintained.“You have to have that special something that connects with the audience.”
McEntire was recently celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors, along with Cher, Philip Glass, Lin-Manuel Miranda and more. McEntire's stepdaughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson, paid tribute to the country music icon.
“Sometimes when we meet our heroes, it doesn’t always pan out,” Clarkson said from stage. “But my friendship with you became one of the highlights of my life.”
McEntire will kick off 2019 with a brand-new record, which she promises will be really, really country.0comments
"It's going to be probably the most country album I've ever recorded," McEntire told PopCulture.com. "I don't have a release date on it yet, but we have 13 songs already recorded, and we'll go in and do some more if we find them. Loving it, just real country."
Photo credit: Getty images/CBS Photo Archive