Reba McIntire: LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010

Reba McIntire: LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010

Q: A few years ago you made your first appearance at CMA Fest in over a decade. What does the CMA Fest mean to you?

RM: It is funny, when we were riding over from the bus in the little golf cart; I thought about how different it was from my first Fan Fair in 1977. There were big busses that pop out, awnings all over. In 1977, I think, I rode into Fan Fair in a car with every piece of clothing I could bum off my college roommate, because I didn’t have any fancy clothes. She did because she was a cowgirl. What it means for me to be here at CMA Fest is the fans are here to see all the entertainers; we have the most loyal fans in the world, any business and any genre. I am proud to be able to come back and say “hi” to them. We were always too busy doing the television show out in Los Angeles. Now, it is very special to come back and say hi and show our appreciation.

Q: I am from Evansville, Indiana and we are building an 11,000 square foot arena to attract talent like you. When you are touring, how important are the facilities and plans? What do you prefer?

Reba: I prefer a full house, good conditions and great catering (she laughs). The number one thing is that the fans have comfortable seats and the sound is good.

Q: You recently did a cover of Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”. What drew you to that song to do the cover and are you a Beyonce fan?

RM: I am a big Beyonce fan and it was Narvel’s idea to do that. They said for the unplugged session they wanted me to do a cover song and I said let’s do “Fancy” and they said I had already recorded that, I said I know but it was Bobby Gentry’s. I didn’t want to have to learn another song. Then I said “That’s The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” and they said no, you recorded that too. I said Lady Gaga? Narvel said let’s do “If I Were A Boy”. He’s the one that picked that out. I didn’t even know the words to it until I got the lyric sheet.

Q: You had a real highlight moment during the awards show the other night with Kenan Thompson. Tell us about when you first became aware of his impersonation of you and your thoughts on that.

RM: Oh…the emails I started receiving on that is when I got the first inclination that Kenan had been impersonating me. When I watched it, I didn’t like it at all and was very offended. I kept watching it and realized he was making fun of himself. There were degrees of it I wouldn’t let kids watch, but there were parts that were really funny. Imitation is a form of flattery and I thought it was all done in fun and Kenan is a sweetheart of a guy. I really had a good time with him the night of the awards show. He is a very nice young man and we had fun. I really did enjoy him.

Q: You have a really busy weekend coming up. You are christening your own ship and then in July you are performing in Washington D.C. Tell us about that.

RM: It is not my ship; although I like the sound of that. I am the Godmother of the Norwegian Cruise line ship “The Epic”. I get to throw the big champagne bottle, bust it up and everything—hopefully it will bust the first time. Then we go to Washington D.C and we get to sing a couple of songs and be awarded an award. There is going to be an orchestra and band and will be a very fun weekend. I am really looking forward to it.

Q: You have already appeared on Broadway once and there are many reports about you doing “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. You had the part in the “Titanic” and couldn’t work it out. Are you considering this project and what it would mean to you?

RM: The character Molly Brown is a very interesting character, very similar to Annie Oakley; a very strong woman that had a huge ambition. She wanted to be rich and get to Denver. In her travels to Denver, she goes to this town Leadville and meets the man she falls in love with. It is a very appealing story to me. We have gone to New York and listened to the reading and the songs and they did a little production for us. There is a lot of tweaking because it is a total rewrite of the story. I learned a lot about Molly Brown that I didn’t know before. I don’t know if it will come to fruition. It depends on scheduling and it is a long time away.

Q: What is the best advice your Father ever gave you?

RM: Daddy never understood why I wanted to do something I wasn’t good at; which was competing in rodeo. It aggravated him, because he thought I had something different with my singing. I think the best advice was to quit the rodeo circuit and stick with singing.

Q: Can you give career advice for aspiring music professionals?

RM: Practice a lot, perform everywhere you can get a chance to hold an audience captive and write songs. Red Steagall told me that early on; write every day. I wish I had taken his advice early on.

Q: You stopped working the honky tonks because of the smoke and have gone to arenas. Why are they better facilities?

RM: They hold more people. I am with a wonderful package deal with Lee Ann Womack and George Strait and we can fill the seats. That is a wonderful feeling. I have gone from doing two shows from the back of a flatbed truck for the same 78 people to filling an arena with thousands of people. It’s wonderful to walk out there and hear the audience screaming and clapping and having a wonderful time, it is great.

Q: Can you elaborate about your collaboration with George Strait on this tour?

RM: Well, Lee Ann comes out to sing and then I come out to sing and then George comes out to sing. That’s our collaboration. What happened is last August we were doing a show in Dallas at the Texas Stadium and it was George, Lee Ann, Blake Shelton and myself and it went so well, George said let’s do some more and I said ok.

Q: Can I ask you about attending CMA Fest at a time when you are more relevant than ever and your career is hotter than ever? It is so competitive and some of the acts that have been around for a long time feel they are not getting their just dues and you are just as hot and competitive as the young artists. Are you enjoying this experience?

RM: I can and I am having a blast at this time in my career. I have teamed up with Scott Borchetta again and Valory Music Company. We use to work a lot together back in the 1990s at MCA/Universal and it really is so much fun. I think I am enjoying it more now than I ever have. I am not sweating or stressing out about it. I love looking for the songs, I love listening to the demo tapes, I love writing with different people getting ready for the new album. I love going on the road. Narvel and I have so much fun out on the road touring and then when we’re getting a little tired and need to recharge the batteries, we take off and go see the world and take a little vacation. This is a wonderful time in my life and I’m having a blast.

Q: Has any singer or song you have heard lately really excited you?

RM: Randy Houser’s album, “Anything Goes”. I love the whole album; it is a spectacular album; also the success that Lady Antebellum is having; I am really thrilled for them.

For additional photos of CMA Music Festival LP Field Backstage visit

Transcribed by Pam Stadel for Digital Rodeo

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