Kelly Clarkson first proclaimed her adoration for Reba McEntire when she was a contestant on American Idol. When the artists were asked to share who their idols were, the then Idol hopeful said her’s was Reba.
As the “Heartbeat” singer introduced her now-mother-in-law at the 2015 50th Anniversary ACM Awards, she reminisced about meeting her backstage 9 years ago.
“I never could have imagined when I was at the ACMs nine years ago, and I yelled backstage to Reba, ‘I want to be you when I grow up,’ that one day, we would not only become friends… but in the most crazy twist of fate, she would become my family. So basically what I’m saying here, people, is that I have the coolest mother-in-law, and you all can suck it! Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Reba!”
The 60-year-old showed she still has it and then some, as she heated up the stage with her “Going Out Like That” performance. The song is from her new album, Love Somebody, that was just released April 14. The red-headed beauty rocked a fitted, black, sleeveless-top with tight jeans and over-the-knee boots.
McEntire was honored with a 50th Annual Milestone Award for the Most Awarded Female Vocalist of the Year. She holds 13 previous ACM awards, and also served as host for 14 years, before handing the job over to Blake Shelton in 2012. She thanked her fans and the Academy after graciously accepting her award.
“Thanks to the Academy of Country Music Awards for this beautiful evening here in Texas. To all you fans, I sure wouldn’t be here without you, and I wouldn’t even want to be. Thank you.”
The “coolest mother-in-law” has reinforced just how close she and Clarkson are, as she has defended her over recent weight criticism. She shared with Access Hollywood that her daughter-in-law is the happiest she has ever seen her.
“I want everybody to know who’s watching today that Kelly Clarkson is the happiest I’ve ever seen her. I’ve known her since 2002 when she won the first ‘American Idol’ and she asked me to come on the finale to sing with her because I was her idol … I have watched her grow, I have watched her become one of the greatest entertainers, the greatest singers, and grow with that. “She’s had ups and downs, but she’s as happy as she’s ever been as long as I’ve known her. That’s all I’m gonna say about it.”
Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson now get to work together on a project bigger than either of their careers — baby River Rose. The grandma told People she came up with a plan to bond with the little one, who used to cry when she saw her. She claims food did the trick saying, “She looked at the bottle, looked at me and smiled. We’ve been friends ever since.”
[Image by Cooper Neill/Getty Images]