NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country star Reba McEntire's first-ever gospel record helped her get through a rough patch in her personal life.
The Country Music Hall of Fame singer is releasing "Sing it Now: Songs of Faith & Hope" on Friday, a double album of inspirational and gospel music. She said the timing was right for her to focus on her faith after she and husband Narvel Blackstock announced in 2015 that they were divorcing after 26 years of marriage.
"Because I needed it myself, going through two and half years of changes in my life," McEntire said. "And who better to lean on than God? And that's who I needed to be listening to. And I needed that faith, that faith strengthened, that hope."
She said in a recent interview that after going through that process, she feels better.
"I feel stronger. I feel happier," McEntire said. "I feel like I have a huge team around me with God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ and my angels. ... My family, we're all stronger than ever. It's really sweet how it has all turned out."
The Grammy winner is also plotting a return to television with a new series that's in pre-production. McEntire was the star of the popular "Reba" sitcom that ran for six seasons and earned her a Golden Globe nomination, and she has also appeared in numerous TV series and movies over her career. The show was written by "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and is being developed for ABC, McEntire said.
"I play a sheriff in a small town and it's a one-hour drama," McEntire said.
"He's the head man on it and I totally respect him and love his work," she said, referring to Cherry. "I think he's a genius."
Follow Kristin M. Hall at Twitter.com/kmhall