Reba McEntire just debuted as KFC’s first female colonel, and we love it YouTube/KFC

There have been a lot of campaigns empowering women in all arenas and career fields in the past couple of years. But the KFC restaurant chain isn’t just empowering women, it’s appointing one … as the new Colonel Sanders!

And the lucky lady chosen to be the very first female Colonel Sanders is none other than our very own Reba McEntire!

And it just seems right, doesn’t it?

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In an interview with “E! Live From the Red Carpet,” the ageless redhead still seemed surprised by the appointment. “It is groundbreaking stuff,” she said. “To be the very first [female] Colonel? That’s pretty cool. When they told me about it, I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ Then I thought, ‘Why hasn’t this happened before?’ And I’m so glad and honored to be the first Colonel.”

Now, don’t expect Reebs to be as roly-poly and round-faced as the original Kentucky Colonel, Harlan Sanders was. She confesses, “My outfit is a little different than his in the way that it has a little bit of fringe, a little bit of sequins, but it’s still the shape of the Colonel, and a little tucked in at the waist. But it’s still — you look at it and go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the Colonel’s outfit.’”

Colonel Reba sings in the new commercial spot she’ll appear in, but the real Reba also makes a cameo in the commercial too.

Confused? Oh, just check it out.

So, with all of that white suit, and padding and fake hair, you have to wonder what the draw was for Reba to sign on with KFC. Like any good country girl would, she explains, “It’s comfort food.”


But when Reebs cooks comfort food, she admits that fried chicken isn’t her go-to. She explains that she makes a dish that combines ground beef or turkey with beans and vegetables that she serves with Mexican cornbread and sweet tea. Or whiskey.

Atta girl!

Now the exact product that our girl will be promoting is KFC’s new Smoky Mountain Barbecue. Of course, Reba got to check out the food after she signed on, and she gave an assessment as honest as her Oklahoma heart.

“Who doesn’t like barbecue? Who doesn’t like the Smoky Mountains? It’s a win-win situation and it’s really tasty,” she said. “I had it yesterday. I give it a 100% A+.”

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Reba jokes that as the new female Colonel, she has been entrusted with the top secret recipe for the fried chicken, but she’s tight-lipped on the specifics of what makes it so yummy.

The rich history of KFC, known until 1991 as Kentucky Fried Chicken, began in 1930 when Harlan Sanders began selling fried chicken from a roadside service station in Kentucky. Ten years later he locked in the secret recipe featuring the highly touted 11 special herbs and spices, as well as a pressure cooking method. It was still another 10 years before Kentucky Fried Chicken was franchised.


The original Colonel passed away in 1980 from pneumonia, but his legacy lives deliciously on. In recent years, the brand has featured a rotating cast of celebrity Colonels including actors Rob Lowe, George Hamilton and Ray Liotta, and comedians Norm Macdonald and Jim Gaffigan.

Be watching for Reba’s commercials to begin airing at the end of January.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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