Anna Sheffer
March 06, 2018 2:09 pm
RW/MediaPunch/Getty Images

This year is shaping up to be a busy one for country music superstar Reba McEntire. On April 15th, she will host the Academy of Country Music Awards, and it was recently announced that she’ll be KFC’s first-ever female Colonel Sanders. But McEntire has been hard at work for more than a year since the release of her first non-country album in 2017. Here’s what you need to know about McEntire’s gospel album:

1 The album was released in February 2017.

The singer’s first foray into gospel, titled Sing it Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, was released on February 3rd, 2017. The album contains 20 songs on two separate discs.

2 The track listings combine old and new songs.

Sing it Now includes 10 classic hymns such as “Fly Away” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” in addition to 10 new songs.

3 Kelly Clarkson makes a guest appearance.

Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood are featured vocalists on the song “Softly and Tenderly.” Clarkson is married to McEntire’s former stepson, so the two have a strong connection.

4 McEntire won a Grammy for the album.

McEntire’s gospel debut received a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Roots Album. It was her third Grammy win and her 15th nomination.

5 She said she gets choked up when she sings songs from the album.

On Today in February 2017, McEntire explained that the messages of faith and hope in the album’s songs are inspirational to her, and that every time she performs them, she feels emotional.

6 Her sister’s gospel career kept her away from the genre.

McEntire told USA Today that she had waited so long to publish her first gospel album because she had always considered the genre her sister’s territory.

7 She found inspiration from her divorce.

In 2015, McEntire ended her 26-year marriage to music manager Narvel Blackstock. But she told Entertainment Tonight that the heartbreak of her divorce caused her to embrace her spirituality, which in turn inspired her to make Sing it Now.

McEntire earned a Country Music Association Award for the album.

At the 2017 CMA Awards, McEntire was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year because of her performance on the album, although she ended up losing to Miranda Lambert.

By releasing a gospel album, McEntire has shown that she is a talented singer in multiple genres. We can’t wait to watch her host the ACM Awards.

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