Reba McEntire is making some bold claims ahead of the 2019 ACM Awards, airing on Sunday, April 7. The singer, who will return to host the live ceremony for the 16th time, promises a night fans won't soon forget.
"It's going to be an incredible show," McEntire promised. "It's really gonna be great, with a lot of collaborations. A lot of people from the past, the present, the future of country music are gonna be on this show. I'm really excited to watch it. I've gotten to see some of the rehearsals, and it's gonna be a great show. Everybody can tune in and say, 'Oh I remember that, oh don't know them but now I do. I'm gonna go to them and get more of their music.'"
"I'm so ready," McEntire said. "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."
The Country Music Hall of Fame member will also perform during the show, singing "Freedom," from her just-released Stronger Than the Truth record.
"When I first heard the song, I thought it was a very patriotic song, and I thought, 'Oh yeah, it's an anthem; we love anthems," McEntire recalled. "And the more I got to listening to it I said, 'No, it's about this woman who's had horrible luck falling in love and finding love, and now she's found the love of her life, and she's like, "Freedom. Loving you feels like freedom.'
"And so it is an anthem, but it's an anthem about love," she continued. "I did it with Kelly Clarkson at our show in Nashville and got the crowd involved, hand clapping and singing along, and it was a lot fun. It's a great song to do on stage."
McEntire is already prepared for a few mishaps along the way – a skill she learned after one terrifying incident, when Dick Clark was still the show's producer.
"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 recounted. "So I got out there, 'How y'all doing?,' and pretty soon here comes Dick. 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," she added. "And so it was just a cute little moment and I got to share the stage with Dick Clark."
Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson, Dan + Shay, Blake Shelton and Maren Morris are just a few of the artists scheduled to perform. The 2019 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: ABC Television Group