Country icon Reba McEntire is changing record-label homes, confirming a new deal with Universal Music Group at Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar today (February 20).
Taking the stage at the historic Ryman Auditorium during the annual “Team UMG Luncheon,” McEntire made the surprise announcement during a brief performance slot, also noting that the shift marks a return to the label home of her early career.
“I’m thrilled to pieces to be back with Universal,” the legendary star proclaimed, nodding to her first label, MCA, which is a subsidiary of Universal. McEntire went on to sing “How Blue,” “And Still” and “Fancy” during the appearance — all tracks from her extensive MCA catalog — while fellow superstar and now label mate Carrie Underwood watched from the wings of the stage. “I hope we get to put out some more great country music in the future,” McEntire concluded.
“At a time when our music, our community and our artists need a bright guiding light, Reba returning to the place where it all started is a great testament to her continuing impact and her powerful musical legacy and we are so proud she’s coming home,” said UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe in a press release sent out after the luncheon. “Reba is a music icon who changed culture and paved her own path by making strong empowering musical statements throughout her career through her songs, her videos, her fashion, her shows and her persona. She’s inspired so many generations of fans and there is so much more impact to be made. It is our honor and privilege to get to collaborate and grow the future of Reba’s musical career.”
Following her time with MCA, McEntire switched to Valory in 2008 and Nash Icon in 2014, subsequently moving to both imprints’ parent company, Big Machine, for 2019’s Stronger Than the Truth. There’s no word on the details of her new UMG deal, but she will headline a run of arena dates with Caylee Hammack starting March 20 in Evansville, Indiana.