In a PrideSource website interview with one of country music’s leading ladies, Reba McEntire touches on the progress she sees in the industry’s acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender fans; who’d win in a country Queen-off; and the dearth of women in country radio:
In your four decades as a country musician, how much progress do you think the genre has made when it comes to embracing LGBT fans with open arms?
Well, I’ve always embraced gay and lesbian fans with both arms. I have a huge gay following!
Absolutely. But country music as a whole – do you see progress when it comes to LGBT equality?
Yeah, I do. There are more (artists) speaking out about it, but I can’t really speak for anyone else other than myself.
If Reba, Wynonna and Dolly drag queens were to compete, how would you mentor the Reba queen to ensure her victory?
Good lands – that’s a hard question! Because Wynonna is such a character! I love her with all my heart. Dolly is bigger than life, and I love her with all my heart. So I’d say, get out there and work your tail off!
Throughout the years, there’s been some pretty darn good Rebas. I’m sure you’ve encountered some yourself.
Totally, absolutely! I’ve had a Reba impersonator in my (touring) show before, and David (Lowman aka Coti Collins) came off the stage one night and he said he’d done such a good job of impersonating me in the song “Fancy” that the limo driver opened the door for him.
Have you ever been mistaken for a fake Reba?
Not that I know of!
Female country artists aren’t getting the same radio airplay as their male counterparts these days. Why aren’t the ladies getting a fair shake?
It goes cyclical. It’s always in phases, and it’ll come back around. In my 40-year career I’ve seen it go from very contemporary country music to very traditional, and then it goes back to contemporary and then you can’t get a male song recorded or a male on the radio, and then you can’t get a female song recorded or a female on the radio.
And we’d sure like to see a lot more country artists speaking about about LGBT equality. And more women on the radio. There’s some darn good music being made out there by country’s ladies.