Reba McEntire is taking over your TV this week performing songs from her new album, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.” The project features 10 hymns and 10 new songs all capturing Reba’s lifelong walk with God. This performance of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” from NBC’s “Today” is proof that Reba’s faith isn’t some sad, solemn affair. This woman has a lot of joy in her heart!
We recently caught up with Reba to talk about the new project and ask about the woman who really inspired it, her Grandma Smith.
As a kid growing up in Chockie, Oklahoma, Reba spent a lot of time with her Grandma.
Reba tells Rare Country, “[Grandma Smith was] the most spiritual woman I ever knew. She was the one that taught us kids about the Lord. When we’d go down on the pond dam fishing, she would tell us Bible stories, and we’d sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘O, How I Love Jesus.’ We would sing and fish and just have the greatest time. So, that atmosphere — being outside, being in nature and being with a woman that you just love with all your heart, that was a representation of God for me.”
If you’re feeling a little nervous about checking out Reba’s gospel project, you can rest-assured you won’t find any condemnation on this album. Early on, Reba’s grandmother showed her firsthand that “God Is love,” and that spirit is reflected on “Sing It Now.”
“[It was] nothing but total love. Love, acceptance, undeniable, unconditional love,” Reba explains. “So, I never got the hellfire and brimstone part. I just got unconditional love. That was my relationship and my introduction to God and Jesus Christ.”
Reba also remembers watching her grandma and grandpa singing hymns like “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” and “In the Garden” at their small church in Oklahoma.
Reba adds, “It’s so many memories. My spirituality started with Grandma Smith.”
“Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” is on sale now.