Reba McEntire Reveals Her True Feelings On Being Called An “Icon”

Reba said she thinks of the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell and more when she hears the word “icon” or “legend.”

By

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on April 24, 2023

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Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy of TODAY

It’s not uncommon for celebrity icons to be recognizable on a first-name basis. After all, they are larger than life. Take, for example, Madonna, Whitney, Mariah, Dolly, and Shania. Inarguably, all of them can drop the last name, and people would still know who they are.  

And then there is Reba.

People from all over the country know that when someone mentions the name “Reba,” you can bet they are talking about the 68-year-old legendary singer herself, Reba McEntire. Despite that, McEntire still goes by her first and last name. And perhaps it’s because she admittedly says that being labeled an “icon” still makes her feel uncomfortable.

Why Does Reba McEntire Feel Uncomfortable Being Called An “Icon” Or “Legend”?

Indeed, Reba McEntire has earned icon status, building an impressive resume, which includes 24 hit songs like “Fancy,” “I’m a Survivor,” “Is There Life Out There,” and countless others, becoming a successful actress alongside being a music mogul, winning numerous awards and accolades, and paving the way for so many up-and-coming female artists. But regardless of all of that, she seems to think she doesn’t fit the criteria of being referenced as an “icon,” “legend,” or a “trailblazer.”

“When I hear those words, I think Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell, Anne Murray, Minnie Pearl, all of those women are the pioneers, the icons, the legends that I got to learn from,” McEntire reasoned during a recent interview with the host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY, Willie Geist.

Dolly Parton Previously Shared That She Thinks Of Herself As An “Eyesore” Not An “Icon”

McEntire isn’t alone in processing the hard-to-reach level of stardom, though. Even Dolly Parton has previously shared her reaction to earning an “icon” status.  

“Well, I always think of myself more as an eyesore than an icon,” she joked while appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “Not actually. I used to think when I was young, if I made like I’d hoped I would, how people would remember me when I was older. Now I’m older, and it’s really nice to look back and think that I might have done something that’s helped inspire.”

Although she appreciates the well-earned recognition, Reba McEntire says receiving such a label comes with a lot of responsibility, especially, because she is being held up on a pedestal by older and younger generations. 

“It’s a cool feeling. It’s a huge responsibility because, in my span that I get to do this, I wanna find ways of doing it better to make it easier on them,” McEntire says of the artists coming after her. “Then it’s their responsibility to move forward, find a better way of doing something for the people coming up next behind them.”

Reba McEntire; Photo Provided
Reba McEntire; Photo Provided

Reba Recently Served As A Mega Mentor On The Voice

McEntire, who considers herself a small-town girl at heart, has certainly put her celebrity to good use. Most recently, she has taken to Season 23 of The Voice as a Mega Mentor, offering her wisdom, advice, and support to inspiring music artists on the show, fighting for the crowning title.

Releasing A New Book, Not That Fancy

McEntire, who is the author of two books – Reba: My Story and Reba McEntire: Comfort From A Country Quilt – also recently announced a new lifestyle book called, Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots. To coincide with the book’s release, she will release an album entitled NOT THAT FANCY. 

“I’m so excited to announce the release of my new book, #NotThatFancy, and the companion album,” McEntire, last week, captioned a photo of the book cover on Instagram. “Tune into @talkshoplivetoday at 7 ET / 6 CT PM, where I’ll be talking about it with my buddy @garthbrooks. RSVP and pre-order your autographed copy at the link in bio!”

“The Book Is A Fun Book”

In the book, McEntire said, “We talk about family, friends, and how to throw a party that’s not that fancy. That’s my kind of party. You know, I don’t really care if everything matches. Sometimes, I ask to use real plates instead of paper plates. But I love solo cups. 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.”

“The book is a fun book,” she told Carson Daly on TODAY of the 288-page offering, which will include plenty of recipes, lifestyle tips, new stories, and photographs from McEntire’s career and personal life. “You know, sometimes you have books, autobiographies, that are really diving into stuff. This is just a fun book. You can look through it. You can read it front to back. It’s got recipes, stories, and new pictures people haven’t seen before. Talking about my family, my faith, my friends, and then recipes that are from the restaurant in Atoka, OK, called Reba’s Place.”

Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy of TODAY
Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy of TODAY

Garth Brooks Wrote The Book’s Foreword

In addition, Garth Brooks has written the foreword for the book, sharing a loving message about McEntire’s work ethic.

Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots will be available as a hardcover, digital book, and audiobook at Barnes & Noble, Target, and many other book retailers. 

The book is available for pre-order now and will be released on Tuesday (October 10). The accompanying album, NOT THAT FANCY, features remastered tracks plus four new songs and will be available on Friday (October 6).

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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