This weekend is a big one for Reba McEntire.
The country singer released her brand-new, 12-track album Stronger Than the Truth on Friday (April 5) and is hosting the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards for the sixteenth time. Yep, you heard that right… sixteen.
As with everything McEntire does, this album is entirely from the heart with songs carefully selected to deliver a diversity of emotion, whether that be love, heartbreak, or just a good time dancing song. Written by Reba, Brandy Clark, Leslie Satcher, Erin Enderlin, Liz Hengber, Jaida Dreyer, and Hillary Lindsey, the collection of songs have true meaning to the singer and are relatable to fans around the world on many levels.
One of the most touching tracks on the album, “Cactus in a Coffee Can,” tells the intricate story of the hardship of life.
“The reason I love it so much is because I love story songs,” Reba told the press at a media session on Friday (April 5) in Las Vegas. “I grew up listening to Tom T. Hall, Dolly Parton, Lynn Anderson, they were great story songs. At the very end of the A-side of the album there was all the story songs. For some reason they kept it for the last cut of that side of the album and that was always my favorite song on the album. I had [Cactus in a Coffee Can] for a year and so it’s just wonderful that a song will find its home. And I’ve had songs that I knew were good that I’ve passed on that need to go find their home. And they’ll find it.”
As for McEntire’s favorite song on the album, that’s not answer she’s able to give.
“That’s hard. That’s like asking which kid is your favorite? I loved all of them because Buddy and I had so many songs we had to narrow down and we had enough to do another album,” she said. “But we’ve got these right here and you say ‘which ones your favorite?’ Well this one is my favorite because it’s a sad song. This one’s a swing. This one Ronnie Dunn and I had so much recording and writing and then ‘Cactus in a Coffee Can’ is great because it’s a story song.”
Possessing the ability to tug on heartstrings with the sad reality of certain aspects of life, McEntire’s “The Bar’s Getting Lower” does just that.
“It’s a song Alex Jones and I were like ‘oh I don’t know about that. Cause she’s gettin’ older and the bar is gettin’ lower. She had her expectations all up here when she was younger and now it’s just getting lower.’ And it’s kind of a reality check for some and a little sad. I’ve had some women go ‘oh no! I can’t hear that again!’ and then they go back to it. It’s one of those songs you can either relate to or you know somebody who can.”
McEntire, who will be hosting the 54th Annual ACM Awards on Sunday, will also be performing “Freedom” off the new album along with 6 wardrobe changes! When asked the theme of the wardrobe, McEntire joked “I’m doing comfort. It has to be comfortable and look great, colorful, but comfortable.”
Joining McEntire on the interview with a surprise appearance coming straight out of the media crowd was Dick Clark Artist of the Decade recipient Jason Aldean, who is slated to not only perform but also deliver a speech for his impressive accomplishments during the telecast.
“This is kind of a new thing for me knowing that you’re going to get up there and give a speech and win something. Typically you don’t know. You go up there, play your song, do your thing and wait for your category and whatever happens, happens,” Aldean shared. “Honestly it’s new territory for me so I don’t know if it makes it easier or more stressful. We’ll see. I just want to go out and have fun and enjoy the night. It’s a big honor for me so I’m just thrilled to be the one who’s receiving that award and get to go out and play a couple songs throughout the night. It’ll be fun.”
“It’s crazy,” he continued. “Ten years ago when George Straight won it, I was sitting in the audience pretty much a newer artist and I just remember thinking what a cool feeling that must be to not only know that you were awesome for a year but for a decade. That’s pretty intense. I had no idea that 10 years later I’d be next in line to get that. It’s been really humbling for me. You look back on the last 10 years or so and realize that we have had a great run.”
Make sure to tune in to the 54th Annual ACM Awards TONIGHT, April 7th @ 8/7c on CBS, to catch Reba’s LIVE performance of ‘Freedom’ along with Jason Aldean!