Reba McEntire back on top
BY Associated Press
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
WASHINGTON — Reba McEntire is in a new and strangely familiar place.
She's on a brand new record label, Valory Music Company, and her first solo studio album in six years, "Keep On Loving You," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's country album charts.
McEntire is no stranger to the top spot. The Oklahoma native has sold more than 55 million albums and garnered 33 No. 1 hits throughout her career. She's also no stranger to the people at Valory, including its president and CEO, Scott Borchetta. They worked together when he was a top executive at McEntire's old label, MCA Nashville, in the 1990s.
"I know a lot of their ways of doing things," McEntire said. "And so it was just kinda like a family reunion, getting back together again and getting to work with Scott and his team. We're having a wonderful time."
Borchetta also famously launched Taylor Swift's career through Valory's sister label, Big Machine Records. McEntire could see a collaboration with Swift in the future.
"I'd love to sing with Taylor," said McEntire. "She's a wonderful gal, and as young as she is, she's got a wonderful head on her shoulders with business sense. She's a great writer, a great performer. Boy, the sky's the limit for Taylor."
One thing McEntire, 54, shares on her new album is life experience. She co-wrote the song, "She's Turning 50 Today."
"We changed a little bit, especially on the second verse, because I wanted it to be more personal. I did have a divorce in 1987 when I left Oklahoma and came to Nashville. So, I wanted it to be a little bit more persona," she said.
McEntire is up for two Country Music Association Awards this year — female vocalist of the year and musical event of the year for her performance with Brooks & Dunn on "Cowgirls Don't Cry." She retains her position as the female artist with the highest number of nominations in the 43-year history of the Country Music Association Awards with 48.
Right now, McEntire is fully committed to music, after spending the last eight years acting and doing other projects. She performed on Broadway in "Annie Get Your Gun" and starred in her self-titled TV comedy series. McEntire said going back to Broadway or television again "would be a blast," but it would take the right script for her to do it, and that's not something she's actively looking for.
"Right now, I really want to focus on my music and promote this album and see what the fans think about it," she said.
Reba McEntire performs in Central Park, on ABC's "Good Morning America" show, in New York. The Oklahoma native has a new album that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country album charts. CHARLES SYKES/AP file