Country Rewind: Reba McEntire Discusses Dolly Parton’s Influence at 2006 Kennedy Center Honors

by Will Shepard
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Reba McEntire has long been one of country music’s most revered women. But, it hasn’t always been that way for the country icon.

Her career speaks for itself now, and no one should doubt her prowess as an influential artist. It took a little while, but she gained notoriety for her music in 1984. It wasn’t long before she was cranking out hit song after hit song. Soon after, accolades began piling up for the country singer.

At the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006, Reba McEntire gave a moving speech to honor Dolly Parton. One of the highlights from it was a story she told about Dolly helping her out.

She began her speech by talking about a show she was about to perform. Originally, she was told that she got to sing two songs. But, that was going to be cut short by the stage manager, who told Reba McEntire that she could only perform one.

Well, Dolly Parton had just walked in through the back door. “And Dolly’s gonna sing,” Reba McEntire said. She continued to share her memory of that night. “Dolly, I have this vision of you walking past me that night.” She explains what Dolly looked like to the audience, describing her as a glowing figure who was larger than life.

“Just like that memory remains, so do you for being a huge influence on me, not to mention every girl in country music for the last thirty years,” Reba McEntire said with her southern drawl.

Although the red-haired singer never said that Dolly did anything to get the manager to let her sing two songs, Reba McEntire said that it didn’t matter because she would have been happy just to see Dolly sing.

Reba McEntire Released a New Song

Reba McEntire is still making music. She released a new single, “Somehow You Do.” She also made a music video to accompany the release.

Recently, the country singer-songwriter posted the song to her social media. She said, “Watch the official music video for ‘Somehow You Do’ now.”

Diane Warren helped write the song for her. But, the song means a lot to the country legend. It is a song about being tenacious and sticking to your guns until the end. The song is full of optimism, urging the listener to remain tough and keep your resolve until things improve.

“’Cause it’s those times, it’s those times when times get bad / You’ll find the strength you didn’t know you even had / Somehow you’ll get through this,” Reba McEntire sings.

“Somehow You Do” is a beacon of hope. It urges people to know that whatever tough thing you are dealing with, that you’ll get through it. Warren said of the song, “even though the times that are so hard and moments in your life that are so devastating, that somehow you will get through them and get to the other side.”

She continued, “It is a song about the strength of the human spirit. And no voice can convey that as much as Reba McEntire. She makes you feel with every note that you might think you can’t get through it, but somehow you will, and somehow you do.”

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