Why Reba McEntire Is Envious of Luke Combs' ACM Awards Collaboration with Brooks & Dunn
"I'm a little jealous because I'm usually the one that's singing with them during our residency at Caesars Palace!" McEntire tells PEOPLE. "We've been doing that since 2015"
Reba McEntire may have earned the coveted role as 16-time host of the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, but her heart won’t lie — she’s downright envious of Luke Combs‘ impending collaborative performance with country legends Brooks & Dunn.
As the 64-year-old country legend gears up to return to the stage for the fourth year of her Las Vegas residency (the longest-running country residency in Sin City!) with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace this summer, she is first going to have to share the 29-time ACM Award-winning duo with the ACM new male vocalist of the year.
“I’m a little jealous because I’m usually the one that’s singing with [Brooks & Dunn] during our residency at Caesars Palace!” McEntire — who will return as host and executive producer of the show on Sunday after hosting last year — tells PEOPLE at the 2019 ACM Award press day in Los Angeles when asked who she’s most looking forward to seeing perform. “We’ve been doing that since 2015.”
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“Brooks & Dunn have a brand new album out, and I’m looking forward to hearing Luke Combs sing with Ronnie and Kix,” she adds about the iconic country duo, who enlisted Combs and nearly a dozen of other contemporary country artists to re-record their hits for their new album Reboot.
The collaboration is part of the show’s “ACM Flashbacks” series, which honors classic country music hits from a specific year, as well as the artists behind them. The segment will also feature the “King of Country” George Strait with Miranda Lambert.
But, wait, there’s more! The show’s star-studded list of performance collaborations includes Khalid with Kane Brown; Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson; Dierks Bentley, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, and Ashley McBryde; Dan + Shay with Clarkson; Florida Georgia Line with Aldean; and Maren Morris with Brothers Osborne. Previously announced solo performers include LANCO, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and McEntire, herself.
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While the “Does He Love You” singer’s hosting dreams may be fulfilled, there’s one career goal she’s still after.
“I would like to do an authentic western movie! I’m into westerns and always have been,” she says, explaining her “dream costars would be Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Dean Martin and folks like that. Nowadays, Robert DuVall and Kevin Costner would be fun.”
“Growing up in a working cattle ranch and a rodeo cowboy’s daughter, I would love to do a western film,” she continues.
The ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.