ACM Awards: Reba McEntire Reflects on 16th Time to Host the Live TV Show

Reba McEntire returned for the 16th time to host the 2019 ACM Awards, but this year's show might have been her favorite of all of them.

"I was excited about it when we started the show, because I saw rehearsals," McEntire told PopCulture.com and other media backstage after her duties ended. "I love the collaborations, because you got two for the price of one, and it was country, a little bit of the progressive country, but we got a lot of the stone cold country in there tonight, which I am an advocate for. I really am wanting that a lot.

"And I thought it was really exciting to get to see George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, myself – I'm going to put myself in that category, of getting to come back and be a part, and everybody be so welcoming of us," she continued. "We've been in this business a long time, and to be able to do what we do, at the level we get to do it at, we're very grateful and thankful."

The 64-year-old handled her role effortlessly, as she does every year, but she insists the credit goes to a lot more people than just herself.

"It takes a team; it takes a village," McEntire maintained. "From making sure the outfits are right – I've got a lot of people working on that, six months before the show ever started. And then the script writing. Melissa Peterman joined in on the show this year ... I wanted Melissa in there because she knows my voice. She knows what I like, and she knows what I don't want in there, because I've worked with her for so many years on the Reba TV show.

"She is one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life," she added. "I love hosting, I love live television, and I think it's exciting."

McEntire admitted prior to the start of the live broadcast that she was ready for the three-hour broadcast, feeling more prepared than the previous years.

"I'm so ready," McEntire promised. "I'm more ready than I've ever been. On the last 15 times I did it previously I wasn't quite ready. I was still working on things right up to the day, but I'm ready."

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Before the start of the show, McEntire walked the red carpet with her boyfriend of two years, Anthony "Skeeter" Lasuzzo. Her latest album, Stronger Than the Truth, is available on her website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter