Reba McEntire‘s career in country music has spanned over four decades and she has no plans to slow down. She’s gearing up for the release of her 29th studio album, Stronger Than the Truth, and preparing to hit the stage for her 16th year hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards, live from Las Vegas on April 7. The star is also performing and executive producing the show.
“It’s like a family reunion when you go to an awards show,” McEntire told The Hollywood Reporter In Studio. “You see all your buddies and your friends, and you have new friends because there are a lot of the newcomers that I haven’t met yet, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Before McEntire goes through “six or seven” wardrobe changes on the ACMs stage, she’ll be dropping her new album Stronger Than the Truth a few days prior, on April 5. The country music legend has called her latest project “stone-cold country” and will bring the listener through a “rollercoaster of emotions.”
Describing the album, she said, “It’s dance songs because I grew up in Oklahoma, and I was playing dance halls and honky-tonks and beer joints and rodeos, and you better have a dance tune or everybody’s going to get mad at you. So that’s what’s on this album: good dance tunes, story songs, happy, sad, crying, breakup, get-back-together songs.”
But while McEntire will be having her fans moving and grooving with her album, she also explained how she always “gravitates towards a sad song,” saying, “Ppeople can relate to them. Everybody has had their heart broke. If you haven’t, you’re lying.”
McEntire released her first single back in 1976 and has witnessed the evolution of the music industry over the years, especially for women. “Everything is a lot better since I started,” she told THR.
“Women now have more control over their careers. It’s wonderful, but you’ve got to be prepared. You’ve got to be ready for it, and if you’re not ready in any area of your career, you need to continue always to have help and a good team around you, because there will always be something that you don’t know and you have to look at your teammates to say, ‘How do we do this?’ or ‘What’s another way of doing this?’ And I have a great team with me.”
The 2019 ACM Awards air Sunday, April 7 at 8 p.m. on CBS. McEntire’s new album Stronger Than the Truth drops Friday, April 5.
Watch the video above to hear McEntire discuss returning to television, her spot-on Cardi B impersonation and more.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.