At the 2019 CMA Awards, Reba McEntire totally nailed her performance of “Fancy,” a song about a destitute young woman whose mother sends her off to become a prostitute.
McEntire Tells the Backstory
The Country Music Association is now sharing some details of the story behind McEntire’s performance on their Twitter account.
On Thursday, the association tweeted, “@Reba definitely didn’t let us down with her incredible performance of ‘Fancy’ at last year’s #CMAawards. Can we get an amen?!”
In the tweeted video clip, McEntire said her creative team helped with the idea for the choreography.
“Justin McIntosh came to me and said, ‘Would you be open to doing something a little bit different in ‘Fancy’? Maybe a little costume change different?’” McEntire said. “And I absolutely love the three changes.”
“It’s very chancy, because things like that on live television can go wrong in a skinny minute,” she added. “Thank God after a lot of rehearsal and making sure that all the mechanics and everything was just right, it went off without a hitch. And all of us could breathe a lot better after that performance was over.”
The Song’s Origins
Singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry originally released “Fancy” as a single, according to Wide Open Country. The song tells the tale of a fateful dress, purchased with a Louisiana family’s last remaining funds, and the career it launched.
It rose to No. 8 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart in 1970, the Tennessean reports. Gentry received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
But the song would prove her last hit. She married country musician Jim Stafford in 1978; the marriage was short-lived. Around the same time, she went into seclusion and stopped taking calls.
McEntire has said in interviews that she wanted to do the song before she recorded it in 1990. But her then-producer forbade it. Her version of the song ultimately reached No. 7 on the charts. McEntire still considers it a major hit.
And after her performance at the 2019 CMA Awards, anyone can see why she does.