Country

Reba McEntire Partners With Spotify for New Lifestyle Podcast: Exclusive

Reba McEntire
 Alysse Gafkjen

Reba McEntire photographed on May 6, 2019 at Vandyke Bed & Beverage in Nashville. 

Country icon Reba McEntire is partnering with Spotify to launch her own podcast in early 2020.

The still untitled lifestyle podcast will feature McEntire and expert guests discussing confronting life’s challenges, tips for overcoming struggles, and how to create happiness within ourselves and others. The podcast’s frequency is being determined.

McEntire sees the podcast as an extension of her role as a story teller. When asked why she wanted a podcast, she tells Billboard, “To be honest, I didn’t know that I did. But I’ve always been a storyteller — I’ve made a career out of story songs. A great podcast, just like a great country song, tells a story. So when Spotify asked if I would be interested in partnering with them to do this, I thought it was a great idea because it gave me a new way to continue being that storyteller.”  

The Kennedy Center Honors recipient, who will co-host the 53rd annual CMA Awards with Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton on Nov. 13, says there are several podcasts she’s appeared on or listened to that have inspired her as she moves into new territory. “When we released my 2017 gospel record,  Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, I got the chance to be on the Jesus Calling podcast. I love those books and I think they’ve made a fantastic podcast. I’ve also been a part of Oprah’s Master Class podcast, which is another great one. Most recently, I’ve been listening to podcasts with Nashville connections like Hunter Kelly and Ashley Eicher’s All Our Favorite People and the new Dolly Parton’s America. Maybe Dolly can give me some tips when I see her at the CMAs next month!”

Spotify has been expanding its podcasting menu. Last month, it launched Set It Straight with Midland, a 10-series podcast during which the country trio unravels a story from country’s past. Other podcasters on the streaming service include Kevin Bacon and Bill Simmons.

Outgoing Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy told CNBC on Monday (Oct. 28) that he expects podcasts to be as crucial to the company as music. In addition to building original content, such as the McEntire and Midland podcasts, Spotify has been on a buying spree, purchasing such podcast studios as Gimlet Media and Parcast over the last several months.

“We are so honored that one of country music’s most beloved stars, Reba McEntire, has chosen to launch her podcast exclusively on Spotify next year,” said Brittany Schaffer, head of artist & label marketing for Spotify Nashville, in a statement. “We are all longtime fans of Reba’s extraordinary music, her career, and her razor sharp insights, and are certain that fans will absolutely love hearing a strong female icon like Reba share her advice and personal thoughts on all!”

Given that McEntire plans to give life advice, she tells Billboard that her best tip on living one’s best life is as old as time — Live by the Golden Rule. “Treat others like you want to be treated,” she says. “I’m looking forward to welcoming my guests, respecting their opinions and learning from each other through great conversations.”