Country Music Game-Changer: Reba

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Eight Second Angel boots is proud to honor the roots of country music and the hard-working, independent women who played a part in making country music what it is today. 

Reba goes by one name, and there’s a reason for that: the trailblazing things Reba has done for females in country music is admirable and undeniable. Reba’s stylistic approach to high-glam and high-production may be similar to that of Dolly Parton, Reba recalibrated country-pop music in the ’90s in a way like no one else had ever done.

Reba is the consummate storyteller, with such classics as “Whoever’s in New England,” “She Thinks His Name Is John,” “Is There Life Out There” and “Fancy.”  The way Reba wraps her gut-punching emotion around each story and each lyric isn’t something you can teach. Every one of today’s aspiring singer-songwriters owes something to Reba for her groundbreaking catalog, which also includes plenty of sass and female empowerment (“Why Haven’t I Heard From You,” “Is There Life Out There”) and poignant social commentary (“What Do You Say”).

Along the way, Reba also gravitated to the pop of each generation, having notched hits in now four decades. Red, as a lot of her friends call her, didn’t so much follow trends as make them fresh and vibrant to a new group of listeners. And it wasn’t only her music that changed the game in a major way– she brought a new perspective to performance style and grandiose staging, utilizing big lights, big set pieces and big costume changes to liven up her sold-out shows. It would be easy to let the music speak for itself, but Reba took that to a completely heightened level. Many of today’s country superstars (like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, for instance) take a page from her playbook to create a complete concert experience for their fans.

Despite falling victim to an ever-younger target demographic and little airplay, Reba remains one of country’s biggest concert draws, as she continues to sell out packed shows all across the country every single year. Reba recently released a new studio album, Love Somebody, which has once again broken the modern template. Reba has never followed anyone’s rules, so why should she start now? Reba raises the bar for everyone else around her, fueling the mainstream with more authentic stories about real adult things. She also has starred on Broadway, crushing a role in the revival of “Annie Get Your Gun,” and in TV, her blockbuster self-titled sitcom remains one of the finest comedies in recent memory, even earning her a Golden Globe nomination.

That’s really what makes a true game-changer.

Image Source: CMA

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