It has finally arrived. Today (Feb. 3) is the day that Reba McEntire’s highly anticipated gospel album, Sing It Now, Songs of Faith & Hope, is available to the public via iTunes, but the Oklahoma native says she can’t take credit for the idea of the record.
“Well, it wasn’t my idea,” Reba tells Nash Country Daily. “I can’t take the credit for that at all but I do believe that timing is everything and everything happens for a reason. Bill Carter, who was my manager in the mid ’80s, he talked to me and said, ‘Reba, you really need to do an inspirational album. Now’s the time.’ Then Tony Brown, who produced lots of my albums, starting in the ’90s, came up and said, ‘I agree with Bill. You need to do a gospel album.’ I said, ‘Well. I guess I better.’ Everybody was for it so I started looking for songs and there you have it.”
The two-disc set—which contains 10 gospel classics on disc 1 and 10 new original tunes on disc 2—features Reba’s latest single, “Back to God.” Written by Dallas Davidson and Randy Houser, Reba created an ethereal video to go along with the song.
Picking a favorite song from the album is difficult for Reba. The tracks are made up of a combination of her favorite gospel songs that she’s been collecting over the years and those that elicit sweet memories for the spiritual redhead.
“They are all my favorites,” says Reba of the albums tracks. “I mean, when you go to look for songs, they’ve got to really touch your heart. I learned a long time ago, don’t ever record a song that you don’t like because it’ll become a single, hopefully, and then if you don’t like it, you got to keep singing it for the rest of your life. I always try to pick songs that I really do like.
“I had been hoarding songs for a long time. ‘God and My Girlfriends’ I’d had for years. ‘I Need to Talk to You,’ for years. Then of course, the old songs,” adds Reba of the selection process. “I went back to the hymnal that I had from Chockie, Oklahoma, and started going through that and picking out all the songs that I was familiar with. Ones that brought memories back to where Gramma Smith and Grandpa Smith would be singing at the little Chockie church in Chockie, Oklahoma. It was just memories. Great memories and then putting those songs together.”
As Reba talked in length about the new album, she had a serene sense of calm and ease about her—different than meetings in years past. She seemed as if she were happier than she’s ever been. So it begged the question, what has changed about her over the past year? Reba responded, “I have changed by learning more about myself, gaining strength, gaining wisdom and knowledge and understanding of what I’m supposed to be doing and knowing that I can do all things when God’s in control and by just turning over so much to Him and quit worrying about everything. That’s the biggest fault I think I had, was worrying. No, I can’t say that’s true either because I don’t really worry that much, but being concerned and think like I can handle it and think I can control it and think I could do it. Why would you even want to when He can do it so much better?”
As for what Reba would like fans to take away with them after listening to Sing It Now, she says, “What people will take away from this album is totally up to the Holy Spirit. I’m just the conduit. I’m the messenger. It’s up to Him.”