Tenille Townes Says Reba McEntire Gave Her a Handwritten Note Ahead of Touring Together: 'It Was So Kind'

The Canadian country singer talked new music, touring with Reba McEntire and pandemic silver linings on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast

Tenille Townes is having her moment.

The Canadian country singer dropped her new EP, Masquerades, on Friday and stopped by the PEOPLE Every Day podcast to chat about the pandemic, new music, and touring with Reba McEntire.

Townes, 28, is a two-time Academy of Country Music Award winner, and the last few years have been a "whirlwind" for her, she told podcast host Janine Rubenstein on the New Music Friday segment.

"I think for all of us these past couple of years have been crazy," said the "Somebody's Daughter" singer. She released her third studio album in June 2020, in the "middle of it all," and said she's lucky to have so many "silver linings" to look back on, even amidst the pandemic.

Now, Townes is ready to turn her focus to new music.

"I'm really, really excited to have kind of rounded the bend towards this new season of music."

Townes kicked this new chapter off with an opening slot on Reba McEntire's national tour, Reba: Live in Concert. She'll also be supporting Brad Paisley on several dates of his upcoming summer tour.

Townes said she's "honored" to be a part of the tours, both as a fan and an artist. She called Paisley and McEntire "heroes and people I look up to so much."

She called the experience of opening up for legendary country star McEntire, 67, in the spring a "dream."

Reba McEntire and Tenille Townes
Reba McEntire and Tenille Townes. John Shearer/Getty Images

"She just makes everyone feel so loved up there [on stage]," Townes said on the podcast. "And she's got this incredible legacy of music that's just carried everybody through the years."

Offstage, the "Queen of Country" is "also a legend," Townes said.

"She had this handwritten note waiting in my dressing room and this beautiful gift [that said] that she was so happy to have me out at these shows, and she was just cheering for my music and my path. It really was so kind. It meant so much."

This week, Townes is celebrating the long-awaited release of Masquerades, which features her hit single "When's It Gonna Happen."

She told PEOPLE the EP is more "personal and vulnerable" than her previous albums. While her first record — 2020's The Lemonade Stand — was from an "observer perspective," one she's diving deeper into storytelling with her songwriting on Masquerades.

"I could not help the way that they were just coming out more personally," Townes said. "So I was terrified as I was writing those titles down, going, am I really saying these things in this song? But, yes, I am. And it feels good."

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