I have had the pleasure in my long career covering country music of interviewing Reba McEntire many times throughout the years. Reba makes it a point to note that she remembers you and that she has enjoyed with you on each occasion. I have spoken with Reba at her Starstruck office in Nashville many times, as well as at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, after award shows, and even once in 2001 when she announced her Reba sitcom was coming to T.V. A number of journalists watched the pilot episode of the sitcom along with her before it aired.

Reba never disappoints; she is as sweet, considerate, and friendly as she seems on T.V. or at concerts or award shows. That’s one reason it was so fun to watch her play a villain on ABC TV’s Big Sky this past year. She is nothing like her Big Sky character. It’s interesting to be around her, knowing how legendary she is when she is just so normal and unintimidating.

Through the years, she told me many things about her life and career, and I thought it would be fun to share five things over the years that she told me.

RELATED: Lainey Wilson: The Moment She Met Reba McEntire

  • 2007 - On Friendship with Kelly Clarkson

    CMA Music Festival - Day 1
    Rusty Russell/Getty Images

    Reba discussed her friendship with Kelly Clarkson; they were friends even before Kelly was involved with Reba’s son, Brandon Blackstock. “Kelly Clarkson and I have become great friends. And I am so thrilled that not only are we friends and buddies, but we get to sing together,” referring to their duet “Because Of You.”  “We’ve gotten to go on trips together. As a matter of fact, she and I, and my niece Calamity McEntire and two of her buddies went over to Yosemite national park. It was the first time that I’ve ever gotten to go over there since we’ve been in L.A. since the television show. I called Kelly and said, ‘You wanna go on a road trip?” and she said, ‘Right on! I am right there with ya.’ And we’ve just had a blast.”

  • 2008 - How Her Band and Crew Are Her Family

    The 42nd Annual CMA Awards - Show
    Scott Gries/Getty Images

    Reba talked to me about homesickness, being on the road, and how her band and crew are her family. She said in 2008, “At the end of this hard day, we’re gonna go have fun with each other. We can go out to eat and laugh. I didn’t have a lot of people around me to make me feel comfortable, confident, and safe. This is very important when you’re an entertainer doing what we do because we’re insecure little people, and it takes a long time to build that confidence; you need strong people around you to make you feel safe so that confidence can grow and build. It;’s in there, but it’s gotta be nurtured. We’re very fragile.”

  • 2015 - Falling on Stage

    53rd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards - Inside
    Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    Reba shared with me her thoughts on staying on her feet on stage. As far as she can remember, her last stage fall happened 30 years ago. She said, “Well, I don’t know that I’ve had very many. I fell down in 1985 on stage; it was in the dark, thank goodness. But all you can do is just get up, dust yourself off, and say, ‘Did you see that’ and if they say yeah, say, ‘Well, good cause I ain’t gonna do it again.”

  • 2020 - Never meeting 'Fancy" songwriter

    The 54th Annual CMA Awards - Show
    Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

    On the fact that she has never met the reclusive songwriter of “Fancy,” Bobby Gentry, who retired from the industry years ago. Reba told me, “I’ve never met her. I’ve never talked to her. And I’ve talked to so many people who have gotten to work with her and do stay in communication with her. And I would say, ‘Hey, would you tell her that I’d really like to meet her sometime or talk to her via email or text or smoke signals or anything? I don’t care. I just really like to communicate with her. I’d love to know where did she get the idea of ‘Fancy’ and what was the thinking behind it when she released it?’

    She added, “I’m just a huge fan. I think she’s a genius. Great songwriter, beautiful woman, great singer. And it’s just been kind of… she’s a mystery woman.”

  • 2016 - Her Acting Dream Role

    The 50th Annual CMA Awards - Arrivals
    Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    Reba told me what her acting dream roles would be. Reba said at the time, “There are a lot of times when I go to movies, and I say, ‘Why didn’t they cast me for that part? I could have done that.’ A dream role would be ten different kinds because I would like to hit all facets, you know, the kooky neighbor down the hall or the heroin in a Western; there are just so many different types. I love to watch television. I love movies. So, acting is something that entertains me.”

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