Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire have known each other for years, and both artists are big fans of the other. During a recent episode of I Miss…90s Country Radio with Nick Hoffman on Apple Music Country, Clarkson was asked to provide some commentary on McEntire, and she began by praising the Oklahoma native's impressive work ethic.
"I've never seen a woman work so much harder than her male counterparts," she said. "She's just not afraid of anything. And she was always just working so hard and she had to work so much harder than a lot of the guys that didn't have to do as much. But man, wasn't it worth it? What an icon." McEntire has released 33 studio albums, two live albums and 16 compilation albums, and Clarkson noted that her former stepmother-in-law's depth of music rivals any artist.
"Her catalog is literally one of the best catalogs like in music, not just country," she said. "Like she has so many, not even that they're number ones, just so many songs that just reach so many people." Clarkson and McEntire were briefly related when Clarkson was married to estranged husband Brandon Blackstock and McEntire was married to Blackstock's father, Narvel Blackstock. McEntire and Narvel married in 1989 and divorced in 2015, and Clarkson and Brandon married in 2013 and Clarkson filed for divorce last summer.
"We're family," McEntire told Us Weekly of Clarkson in 2019. "She married my oldest son, Brandon, but we're also good friends, so that goes a long way — when you can have a good friend as a part of your family." The two singers collaborated on a version of Clarkson's hit "Because of You" in 2007 that earned them a Grammy nomination, and McEntire shared that she hopes the duo can record more music together in the future. "We don't have anything planned right now, though. She's got her boat loaded!" she said, adding, "We don't get to spend as much time nowadays as we used to."
Amid Clarkson's divorce, a source claimed to Closer Weekly last year that the two stars are "staying close" and that McEntire isn't letting the split "affect" her friendship with Clarkson. "Kelly and Reba have a bond that cannot be broken," the source alleged. "It may get a little awkward at times, but nothing is going to get in the way of Kelly and Reba's relationship."