Reba McEntire says it's "mind-boggling" to think she has been in the music business for 25 years and that she feels "blessed to have been able to sing as many great songs as the songwriters have given
Reba McEntire says it's "mind-boggling" to think she has been in the music business for 25 years and that she feels "blessed to have been able to sing as many great songs as the songwriters have given me to sing." And while most country artists are lucky to boast enough hits to compile one best-of package, McEntire has just issued her third, "Greatest Hits Volume III -- I'm a Survivor" (MCA Nashville).
The album, released Oct. 23, features 12 of her hits from the 1990s, including two No. 1s and eight additional top 10s. The set also has three new songs, including current single "I'm a Survivor," which is also the theme song for McEntire's new WB TV sitcom "Reba." The track is No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart this week.
Her career longevity "boils down to finding good songs," she says. "If you keep giving radio and the fans great songs that they want to listen to, they'll keep playing your songs and buying your records. But if you don't have the good material, they don't want to hear you."
McEntire's singles began to struggle at radio for a brief period in the mid-'90s. The singer says she had moved away from songs with "heavier" subject matter, "and I think that's what my fans really like to hear me sing: strong women songs, songs with a topic, a message. For a while there, I went with the lighter side, and I think that might have been my weaker moment in my music career. But I think I needed a little breath myself, so there was a purpose [in] all of it."
And despite her recent acting success in "Reba" and in the Broadway run of "Annie Get Your Gun," McEntire says there will never be a diminished emphasis on her music career. "There is always time to record -- music is not put on the back burner at all."
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