Reba McEntire will celebrate her very own Sweet 16 this April as she hosts the ACM Awards for a record 16th time. This year’s awards will mark the show’s 54th anniversary and will feature performances from the biggest names in country music, including Ms. McEntire herself.
CBS Local spoke with McEntire to discuss what makes Las Vegas such a special place for the awards to be held, her new album and what it means to her to be welcomed back to the ACMs stage year after year.
CBS: This is your 16th time hosting, what are you most looking forward to about this year’s awards?
RM: I love going to Las Vegas for number one; Brooks & Dunn and I have a residency at Caesar’s so it’s kind of like another hometown for us, we’ve been there since 2015. Coming back for the ACMs is so much fun because all of the other entertainers are coming into town, we get to rehearse, we get to visit, we get to go out to dinner together and then the grand finale is the show on the seventh so it’s just like a big old family reunion!
CBS: How do you prepare for hosting in front of the millions of people who will be watching?
RM: Well you don’t think about that when you’re up on stage for one [laughs]. Millions of people is the last thing you want to think about! But to get ready for it you have to be writing the script, get your clothes ready, make sure you nails are done, your hair is just right – and then when you step out on that stage everything just kind of falls into place.
Related: 2019 ACM Award Nominees
CBS: You’ll be performing on the ACMs and you also have a new album coming out. Will we be hearing anything from the new album during the show?
RM: I will be performing on the ACMs and it is a song off my new album. The album is called Stronger Than The Truth and there’s a lot of great songs on it. I got to be fortunate enough to co-write three or four of them and the rest of them I have been listening to – matter of fact “Stronger Than The Truth” is a song I’ve heard for like four years. There’s another song on the album that I’ve had saved on my computer for ten years.
It’s a mix of songs that I’ve been in love with for a while and songs that I’ve just found. They are dance tunes, story songs, songs that will touch your heart. They will make you happy, make you sad, they’ll make you feel something!
CBS: What else can we expect to see in terms of the other performers that night?
RM: Well the nominees are out now so some of those people will be performing; the ones who will attend at least and I’m pretty sure all of them will. That’s what makes the show work is the nominees getting to show the public and the audience what they’ve been doing all year.
CBS: Are you rooting for any nominees in particular? Do you have a favorite song or album?
RM: I’m cheering for everybody! I’m the host, I’m the ringleader, if I had any favorites I’d have to keep them to myself – I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.
CBS: Mentioned earlier that this is your 16th time hosting and you’ve also won 16 ACM Awards so this is a little bit like your sweet 16, how does that make you feel to be able to look back at all of your sustained success in country music?
RM: It makes me feel really well! For them to ask me to come back and host again and for being nominated and also winning 16 times as well, how could you feel anything but really good!
The 2019 ACM Awards will take place April 7th at 8:00 PM ET (live)/ 8:00 PM PT (delayed), only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.