Garth Brooks Asks Reba McEntire About Her Mom — And Her Answer Is the Definition of Love
Her mother made Reba who she is today.
Mother’s Day is next month, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our mothers every day. Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire agree. Yesterday, Brooks sat down with McEntire to discuss her latest book and album, both titled “Not That Fancy,” and the joys and perils of life in general, including her success in the music industry and the death of her mother, in 2020, from cancer.
The Monday night interview was more like a conversation between two old friends than a media event. That’s because Brooks and McEntire toured together in the late nineties, and have remained friends since. They’re also fans of one another. “You’re an icon, you’re a legend, but you’re also an ambassador of country music,” Brooks said to McEntire, congratulating her on her recent concert debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Though she’s just come off a tour, McEntire isn’t slowing down. In fact, both the “Not That Fancy” book and album are set to drop in October. “This is just a fun book,” she told Today. “It’s got recipes, stories, new pictures people haven’t seen before — talking about my family, my faith, my friends.”
Brooks, who wrote the forward for McEntire’s upcoming memoir, asked his country music friend several poignant questions about the choices she made as an author: “You started your book talking about your mama. Tell me why you thought it was so important to start with that.” McEntire responded, “You and I are very blessed to have had mamas that loved us and cared for us so much. We miss them so much.”
“It was Mama that encouraged us kids to sing, taught us how to sing, took us to our singing jobs, 1 year old, playing beer joint and honky tonks… getting up there and singing,” said McEntire. It was also her Mama that encouraged Reba to find her own voice, instead of just emulating her idol, Dolly Parton. “Mama got on to me one day when I was sitting there playing my guitar, playing a Dolly Parton song. She said, ‘Reba, quit trying to sing like Dolly. There’s a Dolly already. You gotta be Reba.’”
Of “7 Minutes in Heaven,” a single on the upcoming album that’s about her mother, McEntire said she knew she wanted to sing the song after hearing it for the first time, but that when she went to record it, she struggled to get the words out. “I couldn’t sing it in the studio probably for the first two or three times through, I got so choked up. Because if I had 7 minutes in heaven, I know exactly what I’d do. I would pass by all the formal introductions and go find Mama.”
Brooks empathized, saying he’s lost four loved ones in his eight-member family. “If I could just see all eight of us back together again… and I don’t care if we’re back together fighting like we would at Thanksgiving. That’d be fine with me. Whatever, just to be together again.”
Want to learn more? Check out the full video of their conversation on Talk Shop Live, and learn more about “Not That Fancy” from American Songwriter.
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