Reba McEntire Recalls How the Music Industry Wanted To Change Her: “That’s Not Me”

Often referred to as the Queen of Country, Reba McEntire gained that title due to her massive success in country music. Not only did the country icon sell over 75 million records worldwide but she put 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. And 25 of them reached No. 1. While enjoying her decades in the spotlight, Reba recently discussed the price of fame and how she had to defend her image when the industry wanted to change her look. 

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While teaming up with Dove to promote their Campaign for Real Beauty, Reba recalled having to find her voice outside of the studio.  “It took me a while to gain that confidence to stand up to a professional stylist, hair and makeup person and say, ‘That’s not me. I don’t like that.’ And they’d say, ‘Well, yeah, you just sit here and we’ll make sure you look just right.’ I said, ‘Well, make me look like me.’” Explaining how she was once put in a strapless dress for an award show, the country singer declared, “I was so uncomfortable and self-conscious. I said, ‘OK, from now on, never anything like that again.’”

Reba McEntire Found Strength From Country Music Legends

Although hesitant to defend her look at the time, Reba pointed to other stars like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton for helping inspire her. “They’re very strong and they know exactly what they want. Those were my role models. Those were the women that I watched and learned and listened to and watched, learned from. They were my guide. They were my manual.”

[RELATED: Lainey Wilson Reveals Why She Looks to Reba McEntire for Career Inspiration]

As for her partnership with Dove, the company promised to never use AI technology to represent real people in their ads. Excited to work with Dove, Reba said, “I thought it was so important for us to stand up for ourselves and not let a computer take over our looks, our words, our acting, our singing, all that is us. We want us to be used a hundred percent as we always have been, and the AI coming in will change us. And I didn’t appreciate that. Don’t like it, not for it.” 

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

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