Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton Reflect On Their History With Reba McEntire Ahead Of ‘The Voice’ Knockouts

“This is the raddest mega mentor we’ve ever had,” Clarkson shared.

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 16, 2023

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Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson; Photo by Tyler Golden, NBC

Reba McEntire is returning to The Voice to serve as the Mega Mentor for Season 23, and the coaches welcomed her with open arms.

The country music icon, who previously served as a mentor to Team Blake during the first season of the singing competition show, is offering wise words of advice to all the contestants on this season.

Fans got a sneak peek of the upcoming knockout rounds where Reba has the chance to sit down with Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Blake Shelton to offer the remaining contestants tips on performing and connecting with a live audience.

In the preview clip, the coaches expressed their excitement over the opportunity to work with the Country Music Hall of Famer.

Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

Kelly Clarkson

Longtime The Voice coach, Kelly Clarkson, who has a long history with Reba, was the first to gush over the “Fancy” singer.

“So the mega mentor this season is Reba McEntire. This is the raddest mega mentor we’ve ever had,” Kelly Clarkson shared. “So I love working with Reba. I love doing it in this capacity because she’s helped me tons musically as an artist. So it’s cool to watch her be able to do that for other people as well.”

Prior to their respective divorces, Reba was Kelly Clarkson’s mother-in-law. The pair previously collaborated on the re-recording of Clarkson’s 2004 hit “Because Of You,” on Reba’s 2007 duets album. They performed the song together at the 2007 ACM Awards and teamed up for an episode of CMT Crossroads that same year. 

“I am so proud of Kelly. She has grown as an artist, as a teacher from when we first met in 2002 way back,” McEntire said of Clarkson. “So that’s how long we’ve known each other. She was a baby. She just matured into this wonderful woman that I am just so proud of and I love you with all my heart. That’s my truth.”

Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton also has a lengthy history with Reba. The pair previously co-hosted the ACM Awards and spent quite a bit of time together when Reba was married to Narvel Blackstock, Shelton’s longtime manager.  

“Blake and I have been friends for a long time and every time we get back together it’s just like we haven’t been apart,” Reba explained of her connection to Shelton. 

Having Reba on the show is a full-cirlce moment for Shelton, who bid farewell to the show after this season. 

“Having Reba here… It’s just familiar territory for me because we’ve worked together a lot over the years…. Malibu Country, at least two ACM awards, maybe three,” Shelton said. “That was fun. Oh my God. And not to mention, you were my first mentor ever here on this show. Right? And you’re going to be my last mentor.”

“What does that say about our relationship?” Reba said, to which Shelton replied, “You brought me into this and now you’re taking me out. That’s what it means.”

Niall Horan, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Niall Horan, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

Niall Horan 

“Heaven” singer Niall Horan also praised Reba McEntire, saying that it’s an “absolute honor to be in the presence of the absolute queen, Ms. McEntire.”

“I’m having a great time. She’s so fun. Lovely lady. And obviously clearly knows her stuff,” Horan added.

The avid golfer and former One Direction member then asked Reba if she played golf, to which she jokingly replied, “I play really good after one beer. I’m Tiger Woods level at two beers [and] at three I better quit.”

Reba then admitted that her and Niall “clicked the minute we met,” adding that they are having “so, so much fun.” 

“We’re having a blast,” McEntire continued, “I love his team too. They’re so sweet.”

Chance The Rapper, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Chance The Rapper, Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Chance The Rapper

GRAMMY winner Chance The Rapper was also thrilled to work with a “legend” like Reba. 

“She’s given me amazing advice and helped my team so much in a short period of time,” Chance The Rapper said. 

The clip concluded as McEntire said, “Oh, it’s so much fun to be back on The Voice again. It’s always a lot of fun to give advice because I study people when they perform and I want to be touched when they’re singing to me.” 

Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Reba McEntire Is Serving As A Mega Mentor On The Voice

Throughout the clip, several of the remaining contestants also showcased their excitement to work with Reba McEntire, including NOIVAS, Rachel Christine, and several others. 

NOIVAS asked Reba what’s the best advice she has ever received, to which she replied, “Show up on time, be prepared, don’t waste anybody else’s time.” While Rachel was all giddy and said, “I’m pretending that I don’t have to pee my pants right now.”

Reba also got emotional while mentoring Team Kelly’s Marcos Covos. 

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“Everything is wonderful, but I didn’t feel it because you didn’t let me,” Reba told Covos, pushing for him to deliver a more believable performance. “You’re in a really desperate time in your life and you need to almost be that brink of ‘God, help me.’ If you do it that way, we’ll feel it.”

Another contestant shown in the clip was Kylee Dayne, whose performance really resonated with Reba.

“You really touched my heart,” Reba told Kylee. ”That’s the biggest thing is to capture somebody in the audience to where they’re sobbing or laughing. Get some emotion out of them. And you did it for me.”

Tune in on Monday, April 17, at 8/7c on NBC to see Reba McEntire on The Voice.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.