Reba is back with a new album and a big new single.
"Going Out Like That" has already marked the biggest single sales debut of the country icon's career and now, her critically-acclaimed 27th (27th!!!) full-length album Love Somebody has arrived.
"I just look for good songs," Reba tells ETonline, "songs that touch my heart so when they touch my heart, and I sing it, hopefully it'll touch your heart, too."
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The 60-year-old's latest single is an empowerment ballad originally penned from a man's perspective (co-written by country star Rhett Akins), but shifted to instead reflect a strong woman. It's a welcome trend in country music, with tracks like Maddie & Tae's "Girl in a Country Song" and Kenny Chesney's "Wild Child" slowly overtaking the reign of bro-country. For Reba, choosing "Going Out Like That" as her album's lead single was a no-brainer.
"That was a unanimous vote," she says. "Everybody said, 'Oh my gosh, this is the one we have to start with. It's powerful [and] women are gonna love it.' And I like tough, sexy songs."
Speaking of sexy songs -- Love Somebody's title track was penned by none other country hunk Sam Hunt, who has made a point of covering Reba's "Fancy" during his Lipstick Graffiti tour.
"I'm not known for love songs, I'm known more for slow ballads or tear jerkers," she says. "'Love Somebody' is an anthem of hope and faith where you say, 'Sometimes you're down, but always you gotta love somebody.'"
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Reba admits that she has yet to make face time with Hunt, but she most certainly did YouTube his "Fancy" cover.
"He did a good job!" she gushes, adding that he "absolutely" gets her stamp of approval.
But Reba had even more kind words for Taylor Swift, who will be honored alongside legends like Garth Brooks, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and, of course, Reba herself, with the Academy of Country Music's 50th Anniversary Milestone Award.
"Let me just tell you, I am Taylor Swift's biggest fan," Reba says. "I think she is a great role model, I think she's smart as a tack, and I think she is absolutely beautiful. She carries herself so well, says the right thing at the right time, she's just amazing."
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And no, there's definitely no hard feelings here about Swift's pop crossover. "I think it's wonderful," Reba adds. "Why should country music just keep her to ourselves? She does need to be on all genres of music."
In addition to receiving the Milestone Award, Reba will also hit the stage to perform at this year's ACM Awards. It all goes down on Sunday, April 19, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
ETonline will be in Texas catching all the action leading up to the big night, so keep it here for more exclusive content! (And to find out Reba's celebrity crush, watch the video below.)
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