Reba McEntire on High Price of Success: 'You Can't Live on Regrets'

Reba McEntire is one of the most successful artists of all time, of any genre, but that success didn't come easily. The Oklahoma native worked hard to achieve the level of success and accomplishments she has achieved — paying a heavy price for it in the process.

Now, in hindsight, McEntire wonders if the price she paid was too high for the success she achieved.

"You have to stay away from home a lot," McEntire told PBS News Hour. "You have to leave your kids home with a nanny. You have to say no to a lot of great things that you would get to do at home and with family. Like missing your kid's championship hockey game. You can't be there because you're shooting a movie in L.A.

"A lot of that stuff, I wish — if I could go back, what would I do?" she continued. "How would I do it again now, knowing what I know now? But you can't look back. You can't live on regrets."

McEntire has had more than four decades in country music, but she isn't ready to hang up her cowboy hat yet. The singer will release her 29th studio album, Stronger Than the Truth, on April 5. The pure country record is her private rebuttal to the direction country music has gone over the last several years, the bro country movement that is a far cry from the music she grew up on, and believes many people still miss."

"You know, 'Hey, bro, let's go down to the river and catch some fish,'" McEntire said. "And everybody's good old boys. And that's the bro — bro music. I think it's kind of going away from that a little bit. I would really like it to get back to the real strong country, the country of Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Mel Tillis. I miss that kind of country."

McEntire would also like to get back to seeing both male and female artists on the charts, and nominated for more ACM Awards. After announcing the ACM Awards nominees for Entertainer of the Year, and realizing the category once again included all men, McEntire is ready to do even more to bring about equality within the genre.

"[It's] disappointing," conceded the star. "Didn't surprise me. But when anything like that happens, I just know us gals got to — we got to work harder. We got to support each other. We have got to get in there next year. It's got to change."

McEntire will return once again to host the 2019 ACM Awards, where she will also perform. A seasoned veteran at taking the stage, McEntire acknowledges she does get nervous, but only once.

"Right before I walk on stage, I'm a little nervous, butterflies are flying," McEntire told "But after you take that first step, and say that first sentence, everything is golden."

The 2019 ACM Awards ceremony will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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Photo Credit: Getty images/CBS Photo Archive