With over 40 years in country music, Reba McEntire has become a certified hit maker. According to Billboard, she has logged a record-making 59 Top 10 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart and 12 No. 1 albums. Since she’s a Nashville legend, it’s no surprise she was asked to share some knowledge as a part of MasterClass, joining such big names in entertainment as Dustin Hoffman and Christina Aguilera, who have also participated in the online program.
In an interview with Billboard, McEntire discussed her contributions to MasterClass and the process of imparting knowledge to curious audiences. When asked, she also offered some thoughts of what she’d tell her younger self and new musicians looking to follow a similar path to success. During the interview, Reba apparently had moving on her mind, as her advice had to do with the proliferation of stuff.
“I just moved into a new house, and I’m downsizing. Next time somebody asks me what advice would you give people getting into the music business, starting a career, I would say: Don’t collect anything.
“You always think, ‘Oh, I’m going to collect that and invest and then I’m going to sell it.’ Well, you’ll never get back what you put into it, so don’t collect anything. You just accumulate a bunch of stuff.”
She also went on to advise up-and-coming musicians to “work hard, be on time and be prepared.” In a separate interview with People, Reba revealed that she learned how to focus on the present moment from her mother, who gave her some wise words to get through trying times.
“Mama always told me, ‘Reba, it will be over in 24 hours. You can go stand on your head for 24 hours.’ That’s really helped me to be my best self because I just focus on the task in front of me and I don’t get overwhelmed about everything else.”
She also shared with People the importance of professionalism, counseling young performers to take care of their own health and their voices, since the audience puts in time and money to attend a concert. That dedication is part of Reba’s own work ethic, despite still having nerves about performing more than four decades after she first started in the industry.
Reba, 61, told ET Online that she still has trepidation about whether a new audience will like what she’s wearing or a new song she is performing. She takes nervous energy and puts into performing, however, always looking to create something positive.
“For anybody who’s watching, dreading live performances because of nerves, accept that as a gift. Turn that into anticipation. The adrenaline that you get from that nervousness, make that positive. Make good out of bad. Always, kind of, flip that into a more positive attitude”
The truth that one’s word is her bond is something Reba learned from both of her parents, according to the Billboard interview. But as for the ins and outs of the music industry, she credits some of the country legends that came before her. Mel Tillis spoke to her about the importance of keeping watch over one’s money and The Statler Brothers offered a reminder that the profession is a business as much as it is about art.
Reba McEntire is continuing her Las Vegas residency with good friends Brooks & Dunn, and fans eager to take in the show will have plenty of opportunity to do so. Rolling Stone reported over the summer that the show, which started in 2015, had originally contracted for one year but was extended for an additional two. That will put the trio on stage together potentially until 2018. All three musicians perform together during the show, and as separate acts. Brooks & Dunn actually opened for McEntire while she was on tour back in 1992.
[Featured image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]