REBA ON A ROLL: This is a big week for Reba McEntire. The singer/actress is launching her first new album in five years today, “Love Somebody,” and is on a whirlwind promotional tour that includes the Today Show, Access Hollywood, Sirius XM radio, The Voice and the Academy of Country Music Awards.
If that weren’t enough, she’s also been named the headline artist for this year’s Outnumber Hunger campaign, an initiative from General Mills, Big Machine Label Group and Feeding America.
This story first appeared in the April 14, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At an event at Soho House in New York on Monday afternoon, Reba (who dropped the McEntire years ago in the name of branding) said when she heard that 49 million people in America — or one in six — don’t know where their next meal is coming from, “it was shocking to me,” and she immediately agreed to help raise awareness for the cause. Starting this month, Reba and other Big Machine artists will be featured on more than 60 million General Mills packages, and through Jan. 31, consumers can enter a code from the back of these packages to secure five meals for their local food banks. She’s also headlining a concert, “Reba and Friends Outnumber Hunger,” on Friday and Saturday with Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, Eli Young Band and Maddie & Tae.
Reba also launched a new beauty brand last week — Reba Beauty. “We started with a Deluxstick, a combination of a lip gloss and lipstick,” she said. “My first color is red and we call it ‘Fancy.’ Red is not my favorite color, but because Fancy is probably the best known song of my career, that’s why we started with red.”
Reba Beauty is an offshoot of her successful women’s apparel line that debuted a decade ago. “My Reba line is 10 years old this year,” she said, noting that in addition to apparel, the collection, which is sold at Dillard’s, includes shoes, boots, luggage and home goods. “We just introduced scarves and belts. We’re having fun with it.”
But the fashion industry was never something Reba aspired to enter. “They asked me if I would be interested and I said absolutely not, I know nothing about fashion and design, but boy, have I learned a lot.”
She characterized her personal style as “tough and sexy. I’m not a girly-girl. I like to be very comfortable. I was the kid who got hand-me-downs all the time — Christmas and the first day of school was when you got your new clothes.”
She recalled that when she was in New York appearing on Broadway in “Annie Get Your Gun,” she was invited to attend a fashion show. “A reporter was walking behind me as we were leaving and he said, ‘Who’s your favorite designer?’ and I said, ‘Levi’s.’”