(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Kendra Wilkinson, former girlfriend of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner and current star of her own E! series, Kendra , loves country music. Not just in an I-went-to-a-Keith-Urban-show-once way. But in a real, genuine, hardcore way. So much so, we just had a long, long talk about it. Here are some quotes that prove how deep her love of the genre goes. Stay tuned for more of our conversation tomorrow.
1. “Country is my favorite genre of music. People automatically assume it’s hip-hop, and I do like old-school hip-hop. But I’m not as big a hip-hop fan as I am a country fan.”
2. “Everybody on TV has a certain character. But at the end of the day, I’d go into my room at the [Playboy] mansion, I’d close the door and I’d turn on my country.”
3. “I didn’t relate to country when I was younger. I was a skater and surfer. But when I turned 17, I grew up. I was into drugs from 13 until I was about 16. And then I hit 17, and I had this very empowering feeling about my life. I wanted to live a great, happy life. And country became a part of me.”
4. “The reason Hank [NFL player Hank Baskett] and I fell in love was because of country. We were driving one day, and I popped in a Kenny Chesney CD, and he had a look of shock on his face. He was like, ’You love country?’ That night, we danced to country all night long. He fell in love the second he saw that all my CDs were country.”
5. “LeAnn Rimes is probably one of the greatest singers of all time.”
6. “I’m a big fan of Taylor Swift. She is a great role model.”
7. “I’m stuck in the country that came out in early 2000. I love Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, but as I started to really love country, I started to go back in time.”
8. “Kenny Rogers’ ’The Gambler’ is my all-time favorite song. I love it. That song just gets me.”
9. “Sara Evans is, no joke, the most beautiful woman in the world. She’s the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. And her butt? I’ve never seen a better butt than hers. And her ’Suds in the Bucket’ really relates to my life. God, I love that song. That’s my song.”
10. “I was on Dancing With the Stars last season, and we had all these hip-hop and R&B artists on the show, and I seriously stayed in my trailer. But when I found out Toby Keith was performing, do you even understand how excited I was? I didn’t care that I wasn’t done with hair and makeup. I was on that stage watching him rehearse.”
The season finale of her show Kendra airs on Sunday (Nov. 20) on E! And she promised me it will be very, very country.