Country music legend Reba McEntire just released her 27th studio album. We talked to the singer about what keeps her going, her secret to aging, and why she's helping to fight hunger.
Q. The first single, "Going Out Like That," from your new album is about a woman who won’t give up when a man breaks her heart. Why is this an important message for women?
A. I think it’s a relatable song. It gives them hope. It gives them courage. They think, "Well, if that woman can do it, I can too. I’m gonna stand up and I’m not gonna let myself be beaten down."
Q. How do you continue to evolve as an artist, album after album?
A. I look to the songwriters to guide me, to help me see what’s current. And then out of those songs, I have to find the song that touches my heart and makes me feel some sort of emotion. If I sing a song that is not touching any emotion in me, when I sing it to you, you won’t feel emotion either.
Q. You’re doing a residency in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn this summer. Do you like the idea of playing in one place for a period of time?
A. It’s easier on my crews, my band, everybody involved. It’s familiarity. It’s consistency. I like consistency. That’s something that has been lacking in my life.
Q. You’re the new spokesperson for Outnumber Hunger. Why?
A. It’s important to help people who are hungry. Outnumber Hunger is a partnership between General Mills and Big Machine Label Group, which is my label. I’m trying to get this out so people can help. And they can help Feeding America secure five meals on behalf of their local food bank by entering codes from specially marked packages at outnumberhunger.com.
Q. How do you stay fit?
A. I do my little routine of stretching, sit-ups, push-ups, and planks every morning. When the weather gets warmer I’ll be outside walking, my favorite type of exercise.
Q. And what about your diet?
Q. Are there any splurge foods you can’t live without?
A. Heck, yeah! I love Mexican food. Chips and salsa -- I absolutely love it. I do love me a whiskey and 7UP.
Q. The entertainment industry puts a lot of pressure on women to stay thin and look young. How do you deal with those pressures?
A. I haven’t had to deal with that. But I get very angry with people who judge women with weight issues. You know what? When I make a mistake or I’m having a hard time with something, nobody has to tell me. I know it.
Q. What’s your secret to aging gracefully?
A. You gotta be happy with yourself. Love yourself. Love your body. Surround yourself with positive people. Willie Nelson once said, "If there’s one rotten apple in the bucket, everything will go rotten." If you stay around negative people, you're gonna become negative. I like to stay around positive, loving people.
Q. In addition to music, you’ve acted on TV, film, and stage. What’s next?
A. Nothing’s in the works right now. We did Malibu Country [on ABC] for one season, and now it’s being played on CMT Canada. I’d love to do another sitcom. I’d love to do a drama. I’d love to do another movie. But right now, it’s music.
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