Reba McEntire is one of the most famous redheaded artists in country music, so it was only natural that fellow redhead Caylee Hammack would enlist her help on a song called "Redhead." Released in June, the rock-infused anthem celebrates strong women who happen to have red hair and serves as one of the multiple collaborations on Hammack's upcoming album If It Wasn't For You.
"Reba was kind of a shot in the dark," Hammack told PopCulture.com in our series, PopCulture @ Home. "Our managers were friends. Her manager brought me up to my manager. My manager brought up one of my biggest, I guess, bucket list wishes is to sing a song with Reba. And when I kind of expressed this to my manager, she was like, 'Well, what song?' and I said, 'Obviously 'Redhead.'' If it could be on this album, it would be 'Redhead.'" McEntire, who Hammack says she is "obsessed with," told her manager that she liked Hammack's music, and after some back and forth, McEntire's manager asked her whether she would guest on "Redhead."
"[Her manager] played it for her and she was like 'I'm willing to do it. Tell Caylee to tell me which lyrics and I'll sing it,'" Hammack recalled. "I can't even explain the excitement I felt. It was unreal to know that she was willing to do it. And when she came in the studio, she was so professional and cool, but so sweet, too, and kind and warm-hearted. That was just kind of a shot in the dark."
If It Wasn't For You will be released on Aug. 14 and each song, like "Redhead," is a story from Hammack's own life. "I wanted every single song to have a direct story, a true story behind it, that happened to me," she said. "I wanted like a plethora of feelings and emotions to be evoked when people listen to this. I wanted to be able to give them like a safe place sonically that they can just dance or laugh or cry or scream about some boy that did them wrong, whatever it is that they needed to feel, I want people to feel it."
"I think that's so important in this day and age where so much bad is happening around us that we disassociate ourselves and we pull ourselves back and we kind of put this wall between us and the world," she continued. "I want, in my music, to give them a space where there's no walls. They just listen like they can listen by themselves in the kitchen and dance to it. I want that kind of sound. I wanted to give them enough songs so that they could do that."