Reba McEntire Says She Won't Play Favorites in Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock's Divorce (Exclusive)

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Reba McEntire is not getting in the middle of this one. ET spoke with the country superstar about her new take on some of her classic hits and why she won't play favorites when it comes to Kelly Clarkson's divorce from her stepson, Brandon Blackstock.

"Kelly and I do talk, we text and I love them both, and so I can't play favorites because I've been a friend of Kelly for a long time," McEntire said of their split. 

Though McEntire is divorced from Blackstock's father, Narvel, she still considers his son to be her own flesh and blood.

"Brandon's been my son forever it seems. Although he's my stepson, I still love him like he's my total -- my blood, so I'm praying for ‘em both 'cause I love ‘em both," she continued.

And while the "I'm a Survivor" singer has moved on in love and life, she's revisiting the past with her new three-part boxed set, Revived, Remixed, Revisited, a reimagining of her biggest hits. The project came about after McEntire's record label encouraged her to take some time during the COVID-19 pandemic to return to some of her old favorites.

"I went back in with my band, and we did 10 songs in the version of what I perform onstage. So if you've been to my concerts, that's the way you would've heard those songs. And then the remixed songs are dance mixes of 10 of my songs," she explained.

McEntire continued, "And then the revisited, those are 10 songs that I went into the studio with Dave Cobb and we re-recorded them stripped down. So, it's three different versions, 'Fancy' is on every album. 'I'm a Survivor' is on two albums. That and 'The Lights Went Out in Georgia' is on two albums, and all the other ones are not duplicated. But it's almost 26, 27 songs played a little bit differently from the original recordings."

Of all the revived, remixed and revisited classics that the celebrated singer re-recorded, McEntire said "Fantasy" has to be her favorite.

"I love to do 'Fantasy,' that's my favorite song to sing," she shared. 

The "more mature" take on the originals also features a duet that country music fans have been waiting forever for: McEntire and Dolly Parton, and it's one the two musicians have been waiting for too.

"We've both said that to each other, 'Why is this the first time we've ever gotten to sing together?'" McEntire said. "We've been at shows or TV things for her, she's been done the same for me, and so it was really neat to sing a song together."

The pair teamed up for the remix of "Does He Love You," and while COVID prevented them from recording the song together, they did get together for the music video for the song, which McEntire released over the weekend.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get to be in the recording studio together because of COVID, but we did get to be together on the video. I loved it," she explained.

The song from the catalog of classics that fans relate to most, however, has to be "I'm a Survivor."

"'I'm a Survivor' is a song that so many people can relate to, whether it's firefighters or first responders, doctors, mothers or teachers, librarians. It doesn’t matter what you go through in life, if you've accomplished something and you feel good about it, then you're a survivor. You have come through and survived," McEntire said of the track which also served as the theme song for her hit seriesReba, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

A re-imagining of Reba isn't out of the question either. While nothing is in the works yet, McEntire says she has her fingers crossed.

"We all got together when I was out in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, and they're all lovely and funny and silly and goofy. We've all just been really missing each other, so it was good to get back and stay in touch with everyone and say, 'How you doing?'" she said of the cast's little Reba reunion. "I missed ‘em so much, and when we ended the Reba TV show or I should say, when they ended the Reba TV show after 6 and a half seasons, we had so many stories to tell, so many more adventures, and so I think it would be wonderful if we do get to come back. We're all keeping our fingers crossed."

You can listen to the singer's new take on her old favorites with Revived, Remixed, Revisited, out now.

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