Gwen Stefani got to know Reba McEntire a lot better after both appearing as coaches on Season 24 of The Voice. The No Doubt singer was already friends with McEntire, thanks in part to her marriage to Blake Shelton, but got to know the Country Music Hall of Fame member on an entirely new level thanks to their shared time on the reality TV talent show.
“It’s been so fun to know her,” Stefani boasts to Access Hollywood. “She’s just so much of a legend, and has always been there my whole life as this icon. She’s just one of the most humble, easy-going — she’s having so much fun. I think the first week she was here, she was like, ‘What is this?’ And now she’s just so in it.
“It’s fun, as somebody who’s been here for a while, to watch her experience it,” she continues. “Because I think when you have this really long career, and then you come and do a show like this, and are able to be a mentor and look back at your own career, it’s super inspiring. It’s hard to explain it unless you lived it.”
Stefani loved everything about being on The Voice with McEntire. But her favorite part was watching McEntire use her decades of experience to help the aspiring singers, of all genres.
“Just watching her be emotional, and understand what it’s like to affect somebody, in such a short amount of time,” Stefani explains. “To see them grow and just root for somebody on the show — it’s a whole thing. It’s hard to explain it, but there’s something so satisfying about it.”
Like Stefani, the 68-year-old had to find her own way on The Voice, learning to be boastful about her accomplishments, with the goal of swaying contestants to be on her team.
“I think she’s still finding herself as far as how mean she can get,” Stefani says. “I think we all come here going, ‘What? We’re supposed to be mean, and we’re supposed to … be conceited about our careers?’ It’s a weird twist on what you’re normally like. I think she’s getting that now.”
Huntley, on Niall Horan’s team, was crowned this year’s winner. McEntire had two contestants in the finale, both runner-up Ruby Leigh and Jacquie Roar, who came in fourth place on The Voice.
McEntire will return as a coach for Season 25, joined by John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and newcomers, Dan + Shay, who will mark the first double-chair on The Voice. But McEntire has a lot more to be thankful than another season on The Voice. The Oklahoma native is wrapping up 2023 full of gratitude for how well things are going, in both her personal and professional life.
“I’m at a really good place in my life,” McEntire tells People. “I’m happy. I’m in love. My kids are all healthy. My family’s healthy. So I’m happy.”
A premiere date for Season 25 of The Voice has yet to be announced.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC