When Reba McEntire takes the stage at the 2019 ACM Awards to serve as the evening's host, it will be her 16th time hosting the live broadcast. Although a seasoned pro, who has spent the past four decades performing in front of live audiences, the 64-year-old recalls one time when she was terrified while on stage, all thanks to the show's producer, Dick Clark.
"One time, [Clark] said 'They can't find Keith Urban's guitar. You've got to get out there and fill,' and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm not prepared for that,'" McEntire recalled at a media event prior to the ACM Awards. "So I got out there, 'How y'all doing?,' and pretty soon here comes Dick and he just tells the audience what happened and why we're having to stall, which taught me a lot. He taught me an awful lot in hosting and singing, holding my mic, a lot of different things. And so it was just a cute little moment and I got to share the stage with Dick Clark."
McEntire has been working with the show's writers, including her former Reba co-star (and good friend), Melissa Peterman, to make sure the script for the entire show is just right, but especially the opening monologue.
"The writers have been working really, really hard and we've been about for the last month and a half emailing back and forth. It's good," McEntire promised. "It's really cute."
Although the Oklahoma native insists she is more prepared this year than any of her other times hosting, she admits she is constantly tweaking what she is going to say until right before she takes the stage.
"It's just like recording an album," McEntire explained. "You're always trying to beat something out and that's the same way with the jokes and the comments. What can we do better?"
McEntire, who also released her latest Stronger Than the Truth album today, doesn't get nervous until one time, close to the time the show begins.
"Right before I walk on stage, I'm a little nervous, butterflies are flying," McEntire confessed to PopCulture.com. "But after you take that first step, and say that first sentence, everything is golden."
The 2019 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday night, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Purchase Stronger Than the Truth at Reba.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jim Spellman