The Transformation Of Reba McEntire From 1st Grade To 68 Years Old

As one of the best-known country artists, Reba McEntire earned her nickname, "the Queen of Country." Or even easier, simply Reba. Starting in the '70s, the singer has proven her ability to craft catchy songs for generations of fans. Proving her longevity, McEntire reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs Chart for four consecutive decades. These are only four of over 100 singles she has released on the chart, with 24 reaching the top spot, as of 2024.

More than just music, McEntire became a well-established figure in entertainment. She has been the host of the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards multiple times. Plus, she's an actor on the big screen and TV, starring in her own sitcom, "Reba," for six seasons. She even became the first female Colonel Sanders in a commercial for KFC.

McEntire seems to never stop working, just like another country icon, Dolly Parton. "Dolly and I talked about this several years ago — about retiring — and she looked at me and said, 'I like to stay busy. I like to do things. I like to be around people.' So we totally agree in all aspects of loving our jobs," Reba told People. It has been a long journey for Reba, who started her career at a young age and endured family troubles. But through it all, she has continued to rule country music.

Reba McEntire's Southern upbringing

A proper country gal, Reba Nell McEntire was born on March 28, 1955, in McAlester, Oklahoma. In her autobiography, "Reba: My Story," the musician wrote that she "was very close to" her maternal grandmother, "Reba Estelle Brassfield ... I am her namesake, of course, and I truly adored her."

Little Reba was one of four children, between her younger sister Susie and two older siblings, sister Alice and brother Pake. The whole family lived on a 8,000-acre cattle ranch in Chockie, Oklahoma. Her dad, Clark McEntire, was a champion calf roper and her mom, Jacqueline, was a singer. In addition to watching her dad perform at rodeos, McEntire also helped out on the cattle ranch. She told Southern Living, "Early in the morning, before daylight, Pake and I would go get the horses out of a 40-acre pasture. And then by the time we got back, Daddy had breakfast, which was eggs and bacon, and cowboy bread and gravy."

Beyond a good work ethic with the family, McEntire began to showcase her singing skills. In a Christmas play at her school, the first-grader made her first official singing appearance with "Away in a Manger." The star posted a photo on Facebook of her, also in first grade, singing in front of her classmates. According to the caption, this was McEntire's initiation to singing using a microphone.

McEntire's busy childhood

As a teenager, Reba McEntire continued to balance her singing and home life on the Oklahoma cattle ranch. In an interview for Southern Living, the "Fancy" singer remembered that she and her brother, Pake, would "be up in the hills until daylight, and about get the cattle to the pens by that time. And then Mama and all us kids would pile in the car and go to school." Reminiscing about hard work followed by swimming and homemade ice cream, she added, "Lots of great memories."

As a school student, McEntire joined the Kiowa Cowboy High School Band. She already had experience at Kiowa High School – young Reba was asked to sing at the school's graduation when she was in third grade. At 16, to show off her voice at a bigger level, McEntire and her band entered a contest hosted by a local Ford dealership. After winning, she won a car that she could use for six months. The singer remembered of her Ford Torino, "I put 18,000 miles on the car going to basketball camp in Lindsay, Oklahoma, Colorado for one trip, and Cheyenne, WY for the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo for another trip," she told Southern Living. Just call her Miss Atoka County Ford.

She had a lot of family fun

On drives home from watching their father perform in rodeo shows, Reba McEntire and her siblings would sing in the car. In an interview for Taste of Country, she explained that the family would practice harmonizing together because "Mama was the one that taught us how to sing harmony, we didn't teach ourselves." With her brother, Pake, and sister, Susie, the family formed a group called the Singing McEntires. 

More than just a fun side project, the McEntires would go around and sing for money. McEntire posted a band picture on Instagram of her and her two musical siblings. The photo was used for a 1971 story in the local newspaper with the caption, "In growing demand as entertainers are the Singing McEntires of Limestone Gap."

In 1971, the group recorded a song called "The Ballad of John McEntire" for Boss Records. The title referenced their grandfather, who was the World Champion Steer Roper in 1934. The only sibling that didn't participate in the band was Reba's older sister, Alice. Though she didn't join them to sing, Alice stayed in the rodeo family tradition. The eldest McEntire daughter once was the IFR Barrel Racing Championship runner-up. Even though she never pursued a career in music like Pake and Reba, Alice "was always a strong supporter of her family," per Reba's website.

Inside McEntire's college years

Reba McEntire stayed in-state to pursue higher education, thanks to encouragement from her family. "Mama knew you had to have your education to get ahead in life," the singer told the Regional University System of Oklahoma. "When I graduated from high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do next. My mama quickly replied, 'You are going to college.'" 

McEntire settled on attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University with an intent to become a teacher, majoring in elementary education and minoring in music. The school was only about an hour away from her family home in Chockie. As for extracurricular activities while in college, she was a part of the Chorvettes, one of the school's singing groups. In 1976, McEntire graduated with her bachelor's degree. Looking back, she explained to Regional University System of Oklahoma that her university was "an important piece of the foundation of young lives, including my own." During her studies, she also worked on land her family owned in Caddo, Oklahoma.

The star began performing to bigger audiences than her days in the Singing McEntires. In 1974, she sang the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. She posted a photo on Twitter showing her younger self with big curly hair, singing at the event. In the caption, McEntire noted that she returned several times to perform the national anthem at the event up to 2017.

How she landed a record deal

During her first appearance singing at the National Finals Rodeo, Reba McEntire's mother asked Red Steagall, who was also there as a performer, to help get the McEntire kids into the music business. He thought about it, since he was still trying to break into the business, but decided to start with Reba. Steagall "invited her to Nashville to record demos for his music publishing company," per Reba's official website. With recordings made over spring break 1975, Steagall circulated McEntire's tracks around Nashville. By the end of the year, Polygram Mercury Records signed a deal with her.

In January 1976, McEntire recorded her lead single, "I Don't Want to Be a One-Night Stand." The following year, the singer released her eponymous debut album with the record label. But her success didn't start immediately with her first album. Fortunately, Polygram Mercury Records believed in the young singer and kept her as an artist. Then, with her sophomore album, "Out of a Dream," she scored two big hits. The single, "Sweet Dreams," reached the Top 20 and "Last Night, Ev'ry Night," landed in the Top 30. The label's belief in her paid off, as she went on to release a total of six albums for Polygram Mercury Records.

McEntire was a young bride

Reba McEntire was 21 years old when she married Charlie Battles, a champion steer-wrestler who was 31 at the time. The two became husband and wife in 1976 and it was their shared passions that brought them closer. "We rodeoed together, we ranched together," Reba told CNN about Battles. The singer also appreciated how Battles would stick up for her, like the time when he allegedly tossed one of McEntire's ex-boyfriends through a glass window. "I loved Charlie with all my heart, I wanted to marry him ... We had a lot of fun," she recalled of their marriage. Together for over ten years, the artist continued to expand on her singing career while Battles ranched.

As her celebrity grew, McEntire's schedule became more and more demanding, which caused friction in the relationship. She also once told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Battles was an appropriate last name for her first husband. Ultimately, "I guess I chose my career over my marriage," the singer said. In 1987, the two filed for divorce.

Soon after, McEntire linked up with musician and her future manager, Narvel Blackstock, and the romance was swift. The two married in 1989 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She said she wasn't surprised she found a second husband so soon after her divorce. "I'm a loving person. I don't like to be alone, never," she told Entertainment Weekly in 1989.

Her breakout album made her a star

Rolling into the 1980s, Reba McEntire started to become more and more popular for her music. By 1983, she finally had a number one single with "Can't Even Get the Blues." Surprisingly, the catchy song almost never made it to the airwaves. Per an unconfirmed report from Classic Country Music Stories, Jerry Kennedy, Reba's Mercury Records producer, "had earmarked ['Can't Even Get the Blues'] for another artist on Mercury's roster, Jacky Ward. However, one day while talking with McEntire in his office, Kennedy played the song for her. She liked it and asked, 'Why don't you ever offer me any of those fast tunes?' Jerry replied, 'Reba, you were meant to sing ballads, that's your forte.'" Luckily, McEntire knew she could bring out the best in the track, and it was the last song she recorded for her 1982 album "Unlimited."

The blockbuster album featured her first single, "I'm Not That Lonely Yet," which became a top three song. She then released back-to-back number one singles with "Can't Even Get the Blues" and "You're the First Time I've Thought About Leaving." As a result of her success, Reba earned two huge honors in 1984: female vocalist of the year at the CMA Awards and the top female vocalist ACM Award. McEntire also switched record labels and signed to MCA Nashville. Her first album with the label was 1984's "Just a Little Love."

She fulfilled her dream of joining the Opry's membership

On the 60th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry in 1986, Reba McEntire was inducted into the famous music venue and show. But it wasn't McEntire's first time at the Nashville venue. She came to watch performers when she was 7-years-old, but actually had to leave the venue because she was sick and vomited outside.

McEntire made her performing debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 1977 with her proud family in the audience. Sadly, she only performed one of her two scheduled songs due to a mix-up at the venue door as well as time being taken up by an impromptu performance from Dolly Parton. In her brief time on stage, McEntire sang one tune, "Invitation to the Blues." The next year, she returned to the Opry and sang "Why Can't He Be You," which was her first recorded performance at the Grand Ole Opry. The singer posted a throwback video of the performance on her TikTok account.

More than 40 years later after her debut at the Nashville music house, McEntire was still entertaining fans at the Opry. She hosted an event in 2023 called "Not That Fancy" with a few of her friends to help celebrate the release of her book and its companion album. Naturally, it wouldn't be an event without McEntire showing off her iconic vocals, performing "Because He Lives" from her 2022 gospel album, "My Chains Are Gone."

McEntire jumped to the big screen

Already a well-established singer, Reba McEntire transitioned into acting. Her debut film, "Tremors," came out in 1990. The movie, starring Kevin Bacon, went on to become a cult classic — so much so that it inspired four sequels. In fact, the movie reached such a wide range of fans that "so many times, people wouldn't even know I sang. It's a cult film! People are into it!" Reba told Esquire.

According to the artist, the film's executive producer Gale Ann Hurd saw her on an episode of "The Pat Sajak Show." The filmmakers thought the singer would be perfect for the role of Heather and reached out. After auditioning twice, McEntire landed the role. Part of what made her perfect for it was that producers wanted someone who was okay with getting dirty for the part and not wearing makeup. McEntire responded, "I'm an old cowgirl. It's fine." The opportunity also came during a time when her life was fully packed with performances. She recalled "Tremor's" production schedule and told Esquire, "I finished the week, got married, did two or three shows, then went back to filming."

Three years after her film debut, McEntire reunited with Bacon on screen in "The Man from Left Field." She also appeared in the movies "North" and "The Little Rascals." But her career in movies sort of fizzled out, and she settled back into making music. "Nothing came along that I really liked," Reba told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about movie opportunities.

An unthinkable tragedy for McEntire's band

In 1991, Reba McEntire and her band played a private show in San Diego, California for executives of IBM. The band needed to return to Indiana, so the plan was to fly everyone out immediately following the performance. But McEntire decided to wait until the next day to get on her flight, with her band leaving that night. In the early hours of the morning, she and her husband, Narvel Blackstock, learned that McEntire's bandmates were in a fatal plane accident. Her road manager Jim Hammon, bandleader Kirk Cappello, band members Joey Cigainero, Tony Saputo, Michael Thomas, Chris Austin, Terry Jackson, Paula Kaye Evans, plus both pilots, all died.

"By far this is my darkest hour, the most awful thing that ever happened in my life," she told People only two days after the horrible accident. "When you have eight people that you absolutely love and their lives are just wiped out — it's devastating. All of them were special."

Decades later, McEntire paid tribute to her former bandmates. On the 25th year after the accident, the singer posted remembering her fallen friends and explained she visited the crash site in San Diego the year before. For the 30th anniversary of the crash, she shared another post, captioned, "No matter how much time goes by after losing people we love ... the anniversaries of losing them still sting and memories come rushing in."

She regretted not taking a role in Titanic

While working as an actor and singer, Reba McEntire admitted it was difficult to juggle the two forms of entertainment. She told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about making movies, "I don't like the filming schedule, the lack of control." This came to be true in the worst possible way several years into her acting career. Director James Cameron offered her the part of the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown in his 1997 film, "Titanic." But sadly, McEntire ultimately dropped out "because they kept moving my schedule, and we had arenas booked, and then I had 75 people on payroll out there," she told Taste of Country.

Of course, the movie became one of the biggest cinematic moments ever, with Kathy Bates portraying Brown. After all the film's success, McEntire agreed with Andy Cohen's summation that "it [killed her] a little bit" to see what could have been. "But you have to take care of your people," she said on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," referring to her decision to continue the tour instead of leaving to film.

McEntire's potential character from "Titanic" also meant more to her than just an acting role — it might have inspired song lyrics. In an interview with The Boot, she said that her song "Fancy" best represented her real-life personality. The singer said the lyrics are about "that idea of the Annie Oakley and the Molly Brown. It is the determination and that, that gut-wrenching [attitude of] 'My golly, I am going to do it!'"

The sharpshooting McEntire on Broadway

Moving into the new millennium, Reba McEntire already had experience as an actor and a musician. It seems only fitting that she then combined the two skillsets and took her talent to the stage. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut in the musician "Annie Get Your Gun" as the title character. As reported by The New York Times, Reba admitted that the year before her debut, she had never even seen the original play.

The Times' theater critic, Ben Brantley, noted that "in a town that eats overreaching achievers for breakfast," McEntire was absolutely wonderful in her role. "Like Annie Oakley, she's a nonchalant showoff, making a highly polished performance look so easy that you wonder why we aren't all Broadway stars," Brantley said about the country artist. Even more impressive, McEntire had almost impossible shoes to fill. The previous actor to play the role on Broadway was the iconic Bernadette Peters, who won a Tony Award in 1999 for her performance.

Even with all the critical praise during her run on Broadway, McEntire seemed to most love delighting fans on stage and off. "It's a wonderful feeling that when we walk out the stage door at night, people are waiting for us," she said (via The New York Times). "Because everybody wants to be loved and accepted. And I'm no different."

McEntire's famous friends

Parallel with the start of her time on Broadway, Reba McEntire had a hit on television. Her sitcom, "Reba," debuted in 2001 on The WB network. Showing the star's appeal in all forms of entertainment, "Reba" ended after six seasons and a whopping 125 episodes. She struck up a long-term friendship with her co-star Melissa Peterman, who played McEntire's husband's second wife, Barbra Jean, on the series.

With the show behind her, McEntire had more time for other passion projects. For example, she created a line of clothing that was exclusive to the department store Dillard's, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Naturally, she also continued to show off her impressive voice at concerts. In 2008, she went on tour with another vocal powerhouse, Kelly Clarkson. Reportedly, McEntire's company, Starstruck, managed the "American Idol" winner. But even with the business relationship, the two remained friendly on tour. McEntire told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Last night I went karaoking with Kelly Clarkson. She's half my age but we have a blast together."

Another one of her famous friends around this time was former President George W. Bush. "We e-mail each other on our Treos all the time — nothing political, just passing jokes back and forth," she explained to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to McEntire, George H.W. Bush invited her and her husband "on a private cruise to the Greek islands ... We became very good friends, and that's when the e-mail stuff started."

A happy and sad day for McEntire

After fifty years of recording music, Reba McEntire continued to release hit songs. She followed her No. 1 single, "Consider Me Gone," in 2010 with another hit, "Turn on the Radio," that also reached the spot on the country singles chart in 2011. That same year, McEntire was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, achieving "the rare feat of landing a No. 1 hit on the country charts in the year of her induction." She was also touring in support of her album, and by that time, Billboard (via her website) said she sold "a combined total of over 9 million tickets in her career."

Sadly, in the midst of all her success and accolades, McEntire's father was dealing with health issues. In fact, she didn't attend her ceremony for the Country Music Hall of Fame induction due to the fact that her father had a stroke and went into a coma. The singer said in a statement (via Reuters) of the induction, "This is a wonderful honor during a very emotional time in my life." Then in 2014, her dad — Clark McEntire — died. In an emotional post, she said her late father had been sick for the past five years: "He had been in the nursing home for a while and we're very thankful he is not suffering anymore."

McEntire's love life post-divorce

As she continued to cement her place as a country music icon, things became complicated for Reba McEntire, mixing her professional career and private life. On the "Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk" program (via People), McEntire talked about her 2015 divorce from Narvel Blackstock. "Things started going south with my marriage," she explained. "I had my production manager who left, I had my CEO who left, my manager and husband, and my father had died." All combined into one devastating crisis, she explained that "four men who were rock and pillars of my world were gone."

After the divorce from her second husband, McEntire began to date Anthony "Skeeter" Lasuzzo, a retired oil geologist, People reported. She had gone on a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a friend. While there, she met Lasuzzo, who was a wildlife photographer when he showed her "the prime locations for animal sightings."  McEntire admitted to People that she fell in love when "[she] was not looking." She and Lasuzzo had dinner together and parted ways. But two months later, Reba returned to Jackson Hole and again met up with him. The romance ignited quickly, and she revealed that the two saw each other every day during her stay. Alas, the couple wasn't meant to be and called it quits after two years together. McEntire told Us Weekly that they remained friends "but just decided to go our separate ways."

The star reentered the dating pool

After Reba McEntire's ex-husbands and split with Anthony Lasuzzo after a couple years of dating, she showed she wasn't finished with looking for love. She showed off her boyfriend Rex Linn when the two showed up together at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards. Linn, an actor on "CSI: Miami," had previously posted a photo on Instagram being cuddly with Reba after a dinner together. For the Season 2 debut of her podcast, "Living & Learning with Reba McEntire," the host invited her boyfriend to be the special guest. "This is the first time we've had any kind of long-form public conversation, so I'm glad we could do that on this show," she told People about having Linn on the podcast.

More than a love connection, both Linn and McEntire are connected by the same sitcom, as these real-life partners were both actors on "Young Sheldon." In 2021, McEntire continued her acting career and made a cameo as Trish at the end of the comedy "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar." But her year wasn't all love and laughs, as the singer nearly missed a disaster. She posted that she was touring a historical building in Atoka, Oklahoma, but during the visit, a staircase collapsed. As a result, McEntire and her team had to be evacuated by the local fire and police departments. "Thankfully, no one was seriously injured," she explained.

A family tragedy nearly ended McEntire's career

Reba McEntire always spoke fondly of her mother, Jacqueline, throughout her career, including some funny stories. For example, she explained to Parade that her love of drinking out of Solo cups came from her mom's adoration for the bright red plastic cups. She even joked that Jacqueline would reuse these cups for multiple years of Thanksgiving gatherings. Her mom was also instrumental in her music career, coaching both her and her sister and teaching both children how to harmonize together.

Sadly, in 2020, McEntire's mom died. With her dad already gone, the singer then had the devastating task of clearing out her parent's house and going through their personal belongings. "I was going through pictures. I said, 'I just don't think I am going to do this anymore,'" she revealed on "Today with Hoda and Jenna" about a conversation with her sister Susie.

The singer lost her mom and then nearly lost her passion, explaining to Susie that she wanted to stop singing "'because [she] always did it for mama.'" Fortunately, Susie was optimistic that the star would find her voice and passion again. McEntire admitted her love of music returned with time, but losing her mom was still a tender subject. During the 2023 "Today" interview when photos of her mom were shown to the audience, she shared that she couldn't look at the pictures. "I have to. I can't talk if I see mama," McEntire said.

Inside the relationship with her son

When Reba McEntire was married to her ex-husband, Narvel Blackstock, the two welcomed their first child together in 1990, a boy named Shelby. By that time, the country artist was already a celebrity, but she wanted to instill the same values from her own humble beginning to her son.

For example, "When we would play games or cards, I'd never let Shelby win," McEntire told People. "He wouldn't have learned anything that way. I always told Shelby, 'I'll always love you, but I want other people to like you. So don't be a little jerk. Don't be a spoiled brat,'" she added. She credited her ex-husband as well with being a great dad, and as she watched her son grow up, she said she would often receive compliments that Shelby didn't act like the son of a superstar. She also attributed her personal growth to becoming a mother to Shelby. "I was a very self-centered person to a degree before Shelby," she explained.

McEntire continues to be close with Shelby and was present at his 2022 wedding in Disney World. Naturally, the legendary artist briefly took the mic to sing during the couple's reception.

She joined The Voice's judging panel

After 23 seasons as a coach on "The Voice," country music star Blake Shelton announced he was leaving the singing competition. This left a huge spot to fill, and Reba McEntire was up to the challenge and new adventure.

For Season 24 in 2023, McEntire joined "The Voice" as the newest celebrity judge and became the oldest coach in the show's history. More than just being a judge and spectator, "The Voice" also provided another avenue for the singer to show off her incredible voice, like when she performed "Seven Minutes In Heaven" on the show. Admittedly, McEntire said it took a bit of getting used to the job. "The first day was a little rough because I didn't know all the rules. There's a lot of strategy to it! But now it's going great. We're getting along real well," she told Parade about "The Voice" and her fellow coaches.

Only a few months into her new role, McEntire said she continued to love the experience. "Working with the contestants, hanging out with the coaches. I've had so much fun. And the crew is wonderful. I've gotten to meet so many people that I'll never forget," she told People. Her time with the other coaches expanded beyond the show, like when she showed up to support Gwen Stefani when the singer received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. McEntire is no stranger to the famous Los Angeles sidewalk, as she received her own star back in 1998.

Life advice and wisdom from McEntire

In October 2023, Reba McEntire released her second book, "Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots." According to McEntire, the inspiration for the book started during the COVID-19 pandemic when people around the world were confined to their homes. Since she could no longer go on tour, the singer focused on other passions, like opening up a restaurant in Atoka County, Oklahoma, where she grew up. She wanted to then make a cookbook, but this idea grew into including other fun anecdotes and advice. "I wanted stories because Rex and I love to cook and entertain," she told Parade about the book and her boyfriend, actor Rex Linn.

Even with decades of experience in the spotlight, McEntire wanted to share her collection of lifestyle tips that focused on the simple pleasures instead of luxury. For example, she detailed how to throw a casual party with a focus on the people instead of the décor. "I don't really care if everything matches, or sometimes I ask to use real plates instead of paper plates. But I love solo cups," she said during an interview with "Today." Reba summarized, "I think that's the main message of the book. Don't not have a party because everything doesn't look right or you didn't have time to get this ready. Just go have fun."

A Reba reboot

Following her success as the star of her titular sitcom "Reba," which ran from 2001 to 2007, Reba McEntire returned to TV the following decade in the ABC series "Malibu Country." The show only lasted one season from 2012 to 2013, but the "I'm a Survivor" singer was determined to one day return to a sitcom, especially since she loves being an actor as well as a singer. "You can be another person or you can act silly," she told Parade. Even though the characters she played were fictional, McEntire said acting helped bring out her real personality. "I got to be the me that I really wanted to come out all these years — a sassy little redhead," she explained.

More than a decade after the success of the original "Reba," she admitted that she would love to reunite the cast. "It was fun. The cast, the crew, everybody we got to work with and play with, they were wonderful people," she explained on "The Bobby Bones Show" in 2023. "We wanted to get back together like a reunion and have fun. So, hopefully that will happen one day."

Her determination paid off and in 2024, NBC announced that the country legend would once again  star in a multi-camera sitcom, with the premise being her inheriting a restaurant and working with her secret half-sister to run the joint. McEntire was also slated as the executive producer on the series alongside three of her previous executive producers from "Reba."

How McEntire stays youthful

With her trademark smile and striking red hair, Reba McEntire continues to look years younger than her actual age — she turns 69 in March of 2024. She reportedly invests a lot in self-care as part of her secret to turning back the clock on time, including spa visits, facials, and beauty products, which allegedly cost her about $100,000 a year.

The singer swears that using moisturizer is her secret to great skin, but she also said diet is important for her to look and feel her best, especially when preparing for big yearly events like the Country Music Awards. "I start with watching what I eat ... the dresses are always tight and body baring! I've got dry skin so I start moisturizing in August for the show," she told Closer Weekly about her CMA preparation. She also needs to continually protect her most valued asset, her beautiful voice. One of her tricks is to use "a humidifier on high and always do a run of vocal warm ups," she explained.

Beyond focusing on appearances as she gets older, McEntire explained that she optimistically thinks about her longevity. "I'm not afraid to die. I know where I'm going. I know where my family and loved ones are going," she told Parade. Even with this peaceful thought, the singer still clarified, "But don't get me wrong — I'm not ready to go right now!"