Reba McEntire Balances ‘Malibu Country’ With Family
Spunky singer Reba McEntire has been hard at work on the set of her new comedy 'Malibu Country' recently, but the down-home star still finds time for her real-life family. In a new interview, the country superstar tells AARP magazine, "I am a very grateful happy camper."
The 57-year-old star says working with fellow actors provides her a sense of camaraderie that singing does not. "It's something that's wanted to come out ever since I was little, at playtime with another person," McEntire recalls. "That's what I absolutely love to do."
McEntire plays a variation of herself on the ABC comedy. Her character's name is Reba, and she is a former country star, but that's where the similarities end. While her character on the show is struggling to rebuild her career after ending her marriage, in real life the red-hot redhead has racked up an astonishing 35 No. 1 hit singles and enjoys a happy home life.
She says time management has been the key to making everything work. When her son, Shelby, was little, the superstar was actively touring, and she would fly home from tour dates in time to get him up and take him to school, then return to the road. "I wanted to work," McEntire remembers, "so I made the time to be with him and still keep a career."
The superstar is still making those compromises, even as her children have grown up and taken up careers of their own. Her stepson, Brandon Blackstock, manages Blake Shelton, while Shelby -- now 22 -- is a race car driver. "When I found out I had interviews in L.A. the day he was running Indianapolis, I almost cried," McEntire relates. She and her husband (and manager) Narvel Blackstock sometimes take the entire family -- which now includes five grandchildren -- on spur-of-the-moment trips between work commitments.
But even when she returns to the set of 'Malibu Country,' McEntire likes to keep things light. "Reba totally makes it fun," her co-star, Lily Tomlin, tells AARP. "There's no ego. She comes in like she's a teenager, laughing, going, 'How are yew?' Or, 'He's a mo-ron.' That accent is to die for. And that little impish grin of hers cracks me up. She's just normal, but you'd hardly call her average."