Red hot and country
She's one of the biggest- selling female stars in the world. She's had 25 Number One hits. So how come Scotland hasn't heard of country music's REBA McENTIRE?
Words: Gabe Stewart
‘.\'umber one. it has to do with passion. It I don't loye a song. I sure don't need to be singin' it. because then I‘m wastin‘ everybody else's time. My job is to get on that stage and to sing songs that lac/re to sing.‘
The statistics surrounding the pert little lady with the Oklahoma twang and pixie (‘opper Penny hair are simply stunning: multiple Grammy winner: dozens ol' music awards eyery year since WM; 25 Number One singles and l'ourteen platinum or multi-platinum albums; shows in the American Top Ten grossing tours tor the past tiye years.
In receipt ol between the to ten thousand tan letters a day. she‘s one ot the biggest selling l‘emale artists. alongside Barbra Streisand and ('eline Dion. So how come most ot‘ its haye neyer heard ol‘ Reba .‘y'lcfintire'.’
Because she‘s country ol course. albeit the best— selling l‘emale country artist ot‘ all time. liorty-t‘our year old .\lclintire bridges the gap between b’lls King and Queen or (‘ountry. bewigged superstars Kenny Rogers and Doll} Patton. and the ‘)()s young bloods Shania Twain. Trisha Yearwood. l.c.-\nn Rimes. (iarth Brooks and The Mtnet‘tt‘ks.
('ountry”s growth in popularity oyer the last ll\L‘ years mirrors the mainstreaming or club music which in turn has pushed many l\\cttl_\ .ind thirtysomethings to look tor a more human alternatnc to drum ck bass.
\lclintire's lans range l'rom preppies. cowboys and rangers. to suburban doctors. dentists and lawyers. What they haye in common. she says. is that they l‘eel her music relates to them. "l‘hey tell me that I'm singing their songs. l‘m singing about them. their lil‘e story.‘
When those me stories include a woman whose one—night stand results in her getting AIDS i‘Shc Thinks His Name \\'as .lohn'). or poor white trash
encouraged into prostitution by a dying mother
(Whitey). you begin to wonder about her lans' lilc
52 THE LIST 1/ DH lil‘lh' -/ )rtll 1"th
In receipt of between five to ten thousand fan letters a day, she's one of the biggest selling female artists, alongside Barbra Streisand and CelineDion.
;: ' Wig/gmzn‘ssv -, ,5!”
Reba McEntire: sells millions in the States
stories. Yet \lclintire insists that the best country songs' cracking storylines and intense emotion relate [U the llle‘tlt‘l‘.
‘I don't care whether it’s happy-go-lucky like “I‘d Rather Ride With You" — when I open my show with that in the States. it’s like "we‘re going to haye a good time tonight". ()r “The (ireatest Man I Never Knew". when I'm with my daddy. .-\nd with “Is There l.it‘e Out There". l'm singin' l‘or eyery woman. It‘s their anthem. Yes. there is life out there. Yes. i L‘Ltll tit) \\'il;tl i want to do. I got my children raised. I can get back to college. I can get back to school. I can get that job. I can open that lilower shop it'l \\ ant to. 'l'hat‘s the kind ol' songs that I like'
llei' lirst cyer liuropean tour kicks oil in (ilasgow on 7 January. 'l’ickets were snapped tip quickly. so Hi“‘.‘.ttll\i_\ someone here has heard that her critically acclaimed shows aim high and consistently deliyer
the goods. She‘s bringing m er her eleyen-piece band _
l'or the one and hall hour set. and the biggest stage she's eycr tiscd. ll‘ this red hot—head ol' passion doesn't melt at
liuropean winter. at least it's a sale bet that. twelye
months l'rom now. you won't be say ing ‘Reba w/io."‘
Reba McEntire plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Thu 7 and Fri 8 Jan, and Edinburgh Festival Theatre on Sun 10 Jan.
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