Reba McEntire believes "that us gals gotta stick together” in country music. And she walks the walk, too: McEntire picked all female artists to support her on tour this year. Before she became a headliner, the Country Music Hall of Famer never had the opportunity to open for a woman.
For her next tour, McEntire will do the same, asking longtime friend and fellow country music singer Terri Clark to support her on the road. USA TODAY can exclusively reveal that McEntire is hitting the road again for a new leg of Reba: Live in Concert. The 17-date arena tour kicks off Oct. 13 in Lafayette, Louisiana. It wraps Nov. 19 in Wichita, Kansas. Tickets go on sale Friday.
“Terri and I have toured before," McEntire, 67, told USA TODAY. “One tour we were with Brad Paisley. So we called it the ‘Two Hats and a Redhead tour.’"
McEntire was in a good mood as she chatted from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she’s preparing to shoot Season 3 of ABC's “Big Sky.” Her tour that took place earlier this year had been delayed two years by the pandemic. As she was rehearsing for the first part of Reba: Live in Concert back in 2020, she lost her mother. And then, the world shut down.
“I was in Oklahoma helping my brother and sisters take care of Momma, flying back and forth to Nashville (for) rehearsals,” McEntire recalls. “She passed in the middle of March, and I went back home for the funeral. That’s when COVID broke out. We didn’t even get to have a funeral.”
McEntire’s mother, Jacqueline, died of bladder cancer at 93.
“You talk about tailspin? Everybody was like, ‘What’s going on? What’s COVID?’ ” she says. “And here we are, two years later, getting to do a show that everybody was really excited about. It was better than any of us could’ve imagined.”
The first leg of her tour concluded March 19. She released a gospel album, “My Chains Are Gone,” days later. Then on March 27, she returned to the Academy Awards to perform her Oscar-nominated song “Somehow You Do,” written by Diane Warren for the film “Four Good Days.” The track lost to the James Bond theme “No Time to Die,” but chances are, you probably remember only one moment from the award show.
Despite the loss, and The Slap, McEntire recalls that she “had a blast,” but admits it was a little emotional. She last sang at the awards in 1991, nine days after she lost eight members of her band in a plane crash.
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McEntire's combination of resiliency and talent puts her in a rarified air: She’s scored a top 10 hit in five consecutive decades on Billboard's country airplay chart. George Jones, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton are the only other artists who’ve accomplished the feat.
“Well, I said I’ve been around a long time!” she jokes about the accomplishment. But McEntire is candid reflecting on her longevity.
“Great songs, hard work, curiosity, wanting to do it,” she listed off the traits that have gotten her to this point, in addition to the team around her. “I’m very competitive, I always have been.”
She also believes in that ‘have fun’ factor.”
“Everybody knows that I want to have fun doing what I’m doing. I want to do work that’s fun.”
McEntire has had plenty of fun this year. She just returned from Canada, where she filmed her next Lifetime movie, “Reba McEntire’s The Hammer,” about a real-life Nevada judge. And she’ll continue to film “Big Sky” in October and November, in between tour stops.
“Neil (Robison), my hair and makeup guy, always says, ‘Be careful what you ask for and be specific,’" McEntire recalls with a laugh. “So we’ll get back with you and see how things are going about the first of December!”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Reba McEntire's 2022 tour adds 17 cities with Terri Clark (exclusive)