Reba McEntire is in love with her boyfriend, Anthony "Skeeter" Lasuzzo – and she doesn't mind announcing that to the world! The singer, who experienced a devastating heartbreak when her husband of 26 years, Narvel Blackstock, announced in 2015 that he wanted a divorce, did not expect to find love again, which is what makes the relationship that much sweeter.
“We’re totally in love — absolutely,” McEntire told PEOPLE. “I wouldn’t put up with somebody for two years if I wasn’t in love with ’em!”
The couple met in 2017, when McEntire traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as part of a group of friends that included Brooks & Dunn's Kix Brooks, who knew Lasuzzo.
“We just had the best time,” McEntire recalled. “And so two nights later, we all went out to dinner, and he bought my dinner.”
Still, the 64-year-old conceded that love back then was the farthest thing from her mind.
“I was not looking,” McEntire insisted. “Not even interested.”
McEntire may not have been interested in another chance at love, but she still returned to Jackson Hole two months later, where Lasuzzo lives (he also owns a home in Texas), and sparks started to fly.
“I was there almost a week and we spent every day together,” McEntire said.
Lasuzzo, a widower who is a geologist and photographer, might have been smitten by McEntire, but the Grand Ole Opry member still wasn't sure if he was up for a relationship with her.
“How do you explain my life?” she said of her global fame. “How do you explain that some people will run over him to say hi to me?”
Clearly Lasuzzo had no trouble adjusting to being married to a celebrity. The two, who just spent a month traveling to celebrate their birthdays will walk the red carpet at the 2019 ACM Awards, where McEntire will host the show, for the 16th time, and also perform.
“We like to color coordinate a little bit,” McEntire said, “to where we don’t clash.”
McEntire's 33rd studio album, Stronger Than the Truth, will be released on April 5. The record is pure country, which McEntire hopes will help move the genre into a new direction.
“Well, I was hoping that if country music wasn’t planning on heading back to more traditional country, maybe this might give it a little nudge," McEntire explained. "Because I definitely sure would like to have the old traditional country music back, but with a new flavor that the younger generation of country music artists can put to it … add their touch.”0comments
The 2019 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Amy Sussman