The country and TV star faces the music award shows, being born a man, and pranking Barry Manilow
As the ”queen of country music,” Reba McEntire has sold 50 million albums and scored 33 No. 1 hits, and on May 23, she’ll host the Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS, 8 p.m.) for a record eighth time. EW thought it was time to be a royal pain and shower the queen with some Stupid Questions.
The Country Music Association Awards are known as ”country music’s biggest night,” while the ACMs are known as ”country music’s biggest party.” Is the ACMs’ claim code for ”We’ve got the bigger keg, y’all”?
I think it’s code for ”We’re in Vegas and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” There’s always a little bit of drinking going on. It’s like a family reunion, not only during the show, but after the show.
When you were young, you told your mother you wanted to come back in the next life as a man. Which recent country hit would you cover: ”Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” or ”Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On”?
Neither one? [Laughs] Not even ”I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.”
Wait, is that a real song?
That was a Song of the Year nominee [in 1982]…. I passed up on ”Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” that George Strait had a big hit with, because it had ”beer” in it. Back then, I was tryin’ to make sure I didn’t influence kids in any way of using alcohol. I guess I’ve gone a little wilder in my older years.
This summer, you’re performing 28 dates at the Las Vegas Hilton while Barry Manilow is on vacation. How will you prank him when you depart: Saran-wrap his dressing-room toilet, glue his hairbrush to the counter, or leave him a sequined blouse from your Reba clothing line with a note that says, ”This would look perfect on you”?
All of the above sound good to me! My two sisters and mama just came to Nashville to surprise me for my 51st birthday, and that’s what they did to me: They Saran-wrapped my toilet seat. And when I walked upstairs, they burst out of the closet and scared me to death. I think I’m going to do that to Barry. Wait ’til he comes home and walk out of a closet.
You sang ”America the Beautiful” at the start of Wrestlemania VIII. Ray Charles sang it at Wrestlemania II. He was blind. What’s your excuse?
It was a gig on the way to a gig. They asked me to do it in the afternoon, and I did my show that night. I was never so ready to get out of a ring in all my life.
Who’s a bigger redneck woman: you, Gretchen Wilson, or the always-popular write-in vote Britney Spears?
I’m gonna vote Britney Spears. Bless her heart. All the tabloid stuff I’ve been reading…
We understand that you often e-mail George H.W. Bush. Do you ever bcc: Dubya?
No. Senior president Bush is my joke buddy. Matter of fact, I was in New York one time during the World Series watching the game, and I saw President Bush and Barbara sittin’ behind home plate. I get on my Treo, and I e-mail him, ”Hey, I see you on TV. Have a hot dog for me.” I see him elbowing Barbara, and pointin’ down to his Treo. Then he’s just workin’ on it. Pretty soon I get a message back from him: ”Wait ’til so-and-so gets up to bat, and I’ll wave at ya.”