“Obviously, winning was cool,” he said in the pressroom at Sunday night’s (April 19) event in Arlington, Texas. “But, to me, the fact that Trisha was the one who gave me my award. Me growing up, it was people like her and Travis Tritt and Alan Jackson — all the people that came from right around where I was from Georgia — that were making it in the music industry. That was sort of the people that made this seem like it was attainable.
“One of the first shows I ever opened for anybody was for her. I was 16 years old — a little kid still in high school — and got to open for her. That was kind of a full-circle moment for me that was really cool and, I mean, the perfect person to hand that award out
“But I was stunned. This is the third year in a row for this. … I was shocked the first year and, believe me, I’m way more shocked a couple of years later.
McEntire said the timing was perfect for her to be presented the ACM’s Milestone Award for her career achievements.
“Oh, my gosh, this couldn’t have lined up better,” she said. “To be going from Los Angeles to New York and all in between doing press for the new album, Love Somebody, and wind up here. I think there’s 8 million people out there in the (TV) audience, and everybody is having a great time. It couldn’t have been better. I’m just having a blast.”
McEntire will join longtime friends Brooks & Dunn this summer for a reunion residency in Las Vegas. The duo, who also received the Milestone honor, lightheartedly joked about the upcoming concert series.
“Reba sent us an email the other day about Vegas,” Ronnie Dunn said. “We are all freaked out because we haven’t rehearsed yet, so we just started talking about production and all that stuff.”
“Yeah, we gotta put a show together,” Kix Brooks added. “We screwed up and sold all these tickets.”
She’s worried about what we are all gonna wear,” Dunn said. “She said I don’t want it to look like … this is what the email said: ‘Reba and the Good Ol’ Boys.’”
“Yeah, we’re not doing that,” Brooks laughed.
“Started calling Ralph Lauren,” Dunn added.
For more on the 50th annual ACM Awards, including red carpet highlights and backstage interviews, don’t miss an all new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown airing Saturday and Sunday (April 25-26) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.