Heidi Newfield is nominated in a surprise four categories at tonight’s Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS, 8 p.m. ET) including Top Female Vocalist and Single, Song, and Video of the Year for her hit “Johnny and June,” which she’ll also perform. We decided to get to know the former Trick Pony lead singer, who’s gone solo with the album What Am I Waiting For, with an EW Pop Culture Personality Test.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The person or band you still need to see in concert?
HEIDI NEWFIELD: We were just talking about this the other day: I have not seen Bruce Springsteen in concert, and that’s just wrong. I still kick myself that I never got to see Ray Charles in concert, that’s a huge regret of mine. So sad I never got to see The Police when they did their last tour. And AC/DC, they just came to town and I was workin’.
The song you wish you’d written?
“I Can’t Make You Love Me.” That’s one of my all-time faves. I wish my name was on that one.
What is your position on karaoke?
I suck at it. That’s my position on it. [Laughs] I’m absolutely the worst karaoke singer on the planet. It’s because I’m used to playing with a live band, and it’s so different when you walk up there and you sing to the record. I promise you I have screwed up my own songs. People have literally been in the bar going, “Is that… that’s… no, nevermind.” [Laughs] Obviously, I can always pull up a Trick Pony song. Or I’ll do something Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks. Growing up playing in all kinds of situations, from bars to events, I covered a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.
Your guilty pleasure dance song?
Right now, it’s Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It.” If you want something, like, fallback, baby girl, it’s gotta be “Brick House.” “Sweet Home Alabama.” Oh, I’m totally embarrassed to admit this, but anything like “We are Family,” the stuff they play at weddings and you’re like, “Oh, I haven’t heard this for awhile.”
So you’re doing the Electric Slide is what you’re saying?
I’m not afraid an Electric Slide. I’ll get out there and rock it with the best of ’em.
You just played a date with Billy Currington, who told me that he hasn’t had a TV since 2001. Tell me you have a TV.
I’m married to a sports agent so we have TVs all over the house.
Excellent. When do you yell at the TV?
Ohmygod. Again, thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed, really, to admit this. My guilty-pleasure is The Real Housewives. Both my husband I are sitting there talking to the TV, “What? Are you kidding me?” I just dog cuss the TV. But at 1 a.m. when you can’t go to sleep, it works. I’m crazy about Forensic Files, The First 48, all those types of shows, and I freak myself out when I watch them late. If my husband’s not home, then I’m in this big ol’ house by myself, and I’m just sure that somebody’s gonna come through with a knife. I’m positive.
Watch the video for Heidi Newfield’s “Johnny and June”
The movie you have to watch every time you spot it on cable?
I’m out on the road with guys — I have one girl in my band — so when I come home, I gotta get my chick flick on. Pretty Woman is an automatic stop-and-watch…A good old-fashioned Sandra Bullock…I was just watching The Holiday with Cameron Diaz the other day. I’ve seen it, like, three or four times, and here I am stopping on it.
What are your favorite movies?
I grew up on a horse ranch in Northern California, so I love westerns…Anything with Robert Duvall in it is a good thing…The Godfather. This last movie season was phenomenal. I loved The Reader. Slumdog Millionaire. We were going to the movies on a Sunday afternoon to watch Gran Torino and it was sold out. My husband just turned around and walked out, and I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We’re going to see Slumdog Millionaire.” He goes, “I don’t even know what that is.” I said, “It just won all this stuff at the Golden Globes, we’re gonna watch it.” So I drug him in there, and he was so glad he went. That’s one of my most recent favorites.
Do you smuggle snacks into the movie theater? If so, what?
Absolutely. I’m sorry. I’m an outlaw. I cannot stand the movie prices. It kills me. I’ve literally gone out to dinner beforehand and saved half my dinner to smuggle in with a bottled water.
Do you have to get there in time to watch previews?
I’m always late. I’m always getting there about halfway through the credits. But that’s just ’cause I’m always late to everything. It’s something that I’m working on in a big way. I call myself the biggest optimist because I think that I can fit everything in.
The movie that made you cry in the theater?
Again, embarrassed. P.S. I Love You. I know what you’re thinkin’. But I lost it. I was with my girlfriends, that was one I could not drag the hubs to, and yeah, we had tears goin’.
I will admit that I ordered that off of pay-per-view.
You did? What’d you think? I thought it was cute.
Honestly, I don’t remember it. I just remember wanting to see Gerard Butler.
Of course, and who wouldn’t? Hello.
Did you ever write a fan letter to anyone when you were young?
I didn’t. But okay, Merle Haggard was my very first show that I ever want to as a kid, and he was so hammered. [Laughs] It was awesome. It was totally Merle. But I remember the first time I ever saw Reba McEntire, I was 13, and I actually waited in line to meet her and she came out and signed. I just remember meeting her and telling her that I was a singer, too, and I couldn’t wait to someday get to Nashville. She was so gracious, and she said, “Well good luck to you, girl. You just keep singin’.” Now, when I’m in a meet-and-greet line, and a little girl comes up to me and says, “I’m a singer,” it just brings me back in time. You remember who was kind to you when you met them, and that’s why you’re kinda afraid sometimes to meet your heroes — you hope they’ll be really nice. I keep that in mind always when I’m talking to people.
The person you’re most often mistaken for?
I get Sarah Jessica Parker all the time. We really don’t look that much alike, but we’re both petite, curly-haired blondes, and we have some similar structure to our face. I’m a hat fan and I love playing around with fashion, so when I’ve got my fedora kickin’ and my hair’s naturally curly, I get, “Oh, you’re pullin’ a Carrie Bradshaw look.”
The piece of pop culture memorabilia from your childhood you wish you still had?
Another early concert I went to was a Hank Williams Jr. concert. I bought one of those old-school cool Hank T-Shirts, and I wish I still had that. There was also a hockey jersey that I bought at an Aerosmith concert a long, long time ago, and I can’t find it. I wish I still had that, too.
Your geekiest possession?
Some people might consider this geeky: I have one of my first pair of cowboy boots that I ever bought for my first trip to Nashville when I was still 13. They’re these horrible snakeskin boots with a heel on ’em. They’re the tackiest lookin’ things you have ever seen, but I still have them because they bring back a lot of memories. I wouldn’t ever put them on again, but every now and then I look at them and just think, What was I thinking?… I’m pretty sure that the legwarmers and parachute pants are all gone, so that’s good.
More EW Pop Culture Personality Tests:
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Tom Cavanagh and Eric McCormack