Living in Texas, I keep a low profile about not being a country music fan, but Reba McEntire is someone I can listen to. And I know she’s one of the hardest-working women in show business. Besides her music career, she’s an author, a fashion designer, an actor on television, film and Broadway and a presence at countless charitable events. That’s why Reba is the ideal choice to be Billboard’s first Woman of the Year.
I learned two rather impressive facts about McEntire in reading about her career. She is the No. 1 best-selling female country singer of all time and the No. 2 best selling female artist (all genres) of all time. Barbra Streisand is No. 1. Plus, Reba has received 73 awards to date — to see them all in one place, scroll to the bottom half of her Wikipedia page. Perhaps most impressive is how she looks at age 52.
Whether you’re a country fan or not, you’re going to hear a lot about McEntire in coming weeks. Her latest album, Duets, released this week, features a lineup that includes Carole King, Justin Timberlake and Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson and McEntire met in 2002 when they performed together on a postseason American Idol special and have become close friends.
They sang their duet, “Because of You,” on Oprah Wednesday, and I have to say, it works. Here’s a clip of the song from CMT Crossroads.
While I’m not sure if Reba will ever be in my iPod, I could listen to her talk all day long. So I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite Reba McEntire role, Betsy the Cow in Charlotte’s Web. I love that movie.
Any country fans out there in AfterEllen.com land? This is your chance to tell the rest of us what we’re missing — and why Reba rules. What do you think of Reba’s duet with Kelly? Will the song crossover to the pop charts? If you’ve heard the rest of Duets, give us a review.