Reba Reveals Why She Turned Down ‘The Voice’ Before Blake Shelton Joined

Before Blake Shelton became the go-to country coach on NBC’s The Voice, the show’s producers had a different coach in…


Lauren Jo Black

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November 11, 2020

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Reba, Blake Shelton

Before Blake Shelton became the go-to country coach on NBC’s The Voice, the show’s producers had a different coach in mind: Reba McEntire.

The superstar turned down the role and Shelton ultimately stepped in and now, she’s revealing why she passed on the opportunity to join the singing competition show.

“It is very true,” McEntire shared during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. “It was a very popular show in Holland, I’m pretty sure, and I watched the tape, and I said, ‘No, I’m going to pass on that’ because I don’t think I could ever be able to tell somebody that they’re terrible or go find another job or hope you like your nighttime job. I couldn’t do that day in and day out. I just couldn’t do it, so I did pass on it.”

Shelton went on to become the show’s longest-standing coach and is now taking part in the show’s 19th season. Reba says her longtime friend was “the perfect choice” for the role.

“He’s done a wonderful job,” she acknowledged but admitted she does regret turning down the opportunity.

“Oh, sure,” she said. “I mean, after you see a very successful show that’s been running, what, 15 years? Uh, yeah! I’m like, ‘Shoot, I should’ve done that.’”

Shelton first revealed that Reba had been offered a role on The Voice during a press conference held at his Ole Red bar in Nashville late last year.

“I’ve heard different versions of this, and now that the show’s a hit, several people have claimed credit for it, but if I’m not mistaken, they wanted Reba to be a coach on The Voice first,” Shelton explained. “They knew they wanted a country artist to be a coach on The Voice to fill that lane, so they called Starstruck and Reba at the time, for whatever reason I can’t remember, she may have had her Malibu Country show going at the time, for whatever reason, she couldn’t do it or they just decided it wasn’t the thing for her at the time.”

It’s safe to say that Reba has done just fine for herself without The Voice as she remains one of country music’s most successful artists.

Tonight, she will host the CMA Awards alongside Darius Rucker. The star-studded event airs on ABC tonight at 8/7c.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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 and her work being featured on 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.