Now is the right time to be Reba McEntire

As Reba McEntire puts it, she really hasn’t done much in the past couple of years, so your guess as to why we were talking on a November afternoon is as good as hers.

“I just relaxed,” she said. “I really loved sitting on that back porch. I had failed to do that. I was like, “Wow, what’s it going to be if we never get back to work?” But I loved the free time. I could have done either: go back to work or stay home.

She started dating someone new, actor Rex Linn, and she affectionately nicknamed him “Sugar Tot” to her “Tater Tot”. Together they watched “Squid Game” and “Hacks” and “Mare of Easttown”. They also embarked on documentaries – one about hummingbirds and one about Jerry Lee Lewis.

But if you try to count the projects Ms. McEntire was involved in just 2021, you’ll start to run out of fingers. She made an appearance in the High Camp movie “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar”; a star-studded Spotify podcast that has just entered its second season; a leading role in “Christmas in Tune” on Lifetime; an ongoing guest role on “Young Sheldon”; and somewhere along the way I had time to record “three or four albums because you had nothing else to do,” she said.

Zooming in from her home in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles in a pair of thick-rimmed Harry Potter glasses (“I bought them on Amazon – six per pack,” she said with her thick Oklahoma accent ), the 66-year-old’s iconic red hair made the difference between her emotional face and her garden, blurred by a software effect that obstructed all view except that of the country legend herself.

In a way, this image is a beautiful metaphor for the new spotlight on it. It plunged Ms McEntire into the kind of cultural re-appreciation glow you’d expect if she’d just won a grand prize or, more painfully, had passed away the office building she was visiting in September was too close for more than comfort). “I got a lot of publicity,” she said, tilting her head and winking.

Ms. McEntire still exudes a heartfelt “aw, shucks” attitude that has spread just below the surface of her decades-long career, in which she topped the music charts, anchored a hit TV show, briefly appeared. on Broadway and has built an iconography so deep that it is part of a small number of celebrities known by one name.

It’s no wonder that many fans sought solace in its catalog during the pandemic, listening to songs like “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” and “I’m a Survivor”, the theme song “Reba” , which became a TikTok staple last summer.

Many artists would have been happy to leave their countries during a global shutdown, making an easy dollar by releasing a compilation of the biggest hits that would require minimal promotion and even less effort. Not Mrs. McEntire. In October, she released “Revived Remixed Revisited,” a compilation of three hits seen through new lenses, including her first collaboration with Dolly Parton.

“They came up with the idea of ​​doing 10 songs with the band, the way we perform them live, 10 songs in a dance mix version and 10 stripped songs,” she said of her label’s pitch. . “I said, ‘OK, there you go. We do the same songs, but we do them differently. It’s not like reselling the same thing. I don’t have a good feeling about it – they already have them! I feel like it’s some kind of cheating.

Ms. McEntire’s brand – though she would hate to call it that – is based on fans feeling like she’s just one of them. “If you’re trying to meet someone who doesn’t like Reba, you can’t, and the reason is she’s real,” Ms. McEntire’s friend Kristin Chenoweth said on a call. telephone. “I hate to talk about a brand, but Reba knows his brand. It will make you an audience if you aren’t.

Ms. McEntire attributes a small inner circle – including Justin McIntosh, her VP of Creative and Marketing; and Brett Freedman, her hairstylist and makeup artist, for teaching her how to tap into social media once it became the only way to reach her fans.

On a remarkable TikTok set to “I’m a Survivor,” Ms. McEntire tends to her donkeys on her Nashville farm. It has been watched 22.8 million times since it went live in late July, and it now has 2.3 million followers.

Ms. McEntire’s TikTok fame isn’t her first contact with meme-ification. Twelve years ago, “Saturday Night Live” and comedy group Lonely Island lovingly parodied her red locks and tangy vocals into a popular digital short. Drag queens across the country have been throwing red wigs for performances of “Fancy” and “Consider Me Gone” since Ms. McEntire rose to fame in the 1980s.

“If they didn’t like the song, if they didn’t like to make me look like me, this would hurt me, ”she said.

Ms. McEntire has chosen another pandemic hobby: a podcast, “Living and Learning with Reba McEntire,” on which she is a warm and intimate host.

“We don’t get to a quarter of the things I want to talk about because one thing leads to the other,” she said. “When something pulls my trigger on something they said, I’m going to take a different path, because I’m curious.”

Guests including Ms Parton, Ms Chenoweth, Trisha Yearwood and Jean Smart joined Ms McEntire to discuss topics such as legacy, love after heartbreak and staying grounded.

“I’m a girl from Oklahoma, and where I’m from is Jesus Christ and then there’s Reba,” Ms. Chenoweth said.

In November, Ms. McEntire returned to the road with a tour she was due to begin in March 2020. She added new songs and tightened up some of the production and directing. “Like TikTok, our mindset these days is fast, short, forward, keep my focus,” she said. Timeless hits will be there. “I’m a Survivor” will get its flowers as it has for 20 years now. “Now is a good time to be Reba McEntire,” she said at the end of our Zoom.

“I was always able to have my cake and eat it too,” she added with a cheek-to-cheek smile. “What I’ve learned is to take this moment, this minute, this hour. It took me 65 years to make. I digress, but I really focus on loving it, because if I stay out of this moment and look to the future, then I’m missing out on what’s happening now.

Source link

Comments are closed.