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Fame & Fortune: Reba McEntire

Bankrate: Your company with Blackstock, Starstruck Entertainment, is more on the nonmusic side of the business. Why was it important to run the nonshow-business side?

Reba McEntire: Well I didn't run it; Narvel did. He had a management team, he had 12 (or) 13 acts, and we had the publishing, construction and jet company, and the farm. Narvel read this book called "Focus," and he had this gentleman come to the office and look at the whole corporation. He told Narvel, "You've got this product called Reba McEntire, but you are spreading yourself so thin with your attention that her emphasis is watered down and is suffering." That's when Narvel let acts go, and I was his only act. It was pretty amazing how things refocused just because of that book, so things happen for a reason.

Bankrate: What has proven to be the biggest challenge so far?

Reba McEntire: Clothes. They are the biggest challenge because you always have to come up with new styles and when they're not going right, (the question is) how to make it Reba. We found that we were getting into this area of, "That's not right, that's not the brand, that's not Reba." And it took us a good six months to get everybody convinced that this is not the Reba brand; this is not what Reba wears. My fans know what I wear and won't wear. And now, everything is doing wonderfully well. Now that we're into shoes, we're having to do the same thing. But we learned from clothes that we've got to put that Reba thumbprint, that Reba brand on the clothes. Now we have to do the same with the shoes. And that's very important because my fans will just say, "Reba don't wear that."

Bankrate: So you're trying to capture your personal essence and transfer it into your clothes, shoes and luggage?

Reba McEntire: Right. In the luggage, it's leather with a belt buckle on it. The buckle is what got me started in the rodeo and ranching family, me singing the national anthem at the National (Finals) Rodeo in 1974. So we put the buckle on the outside of the luggage.

Bankrate: What was your last big splurge?

Reba McEntire: I bought Kelly Clarkson a really pretty diamond and sapphire ring. I wanted to give her something as a remembrance of our tour. So my latest big splurge was on a friend, not on me. Oh, I don't need a thing, really.

Bankrate: Can you remember your first big splurge?

Reba McEntire: I bought a ring for myself that I still have today. I went to the jewelry store to buy my secretary something for Secretary's Day -- that's what we called them back then. I bought her a gift and was walking out and saw this ring. I thought it would be a good little commemorative thing for myself, so I bought it. It has four diamonds in it, and I just love it. It's a really nice memory because I had just finished the movie "Is There Life Out There?"

Bankrate: I know you've said that being a good mom was your greatest accomplishment, but any true regrets?

Reba McEntire: I guess I could have been a better mom and spent more time with him, but I think children need to see parents working. I think they need to see parents being together and loving each other. But you have to instill into a child this work ethic. I think the worst thing I've done for Shelby is spoiling him. If I could have changed something, we would have lived on a farm and had chickens and cows, and he'd have had to go out and milk and gather the eggs, and we'd had a garden. But things didn't work out like that. It wasn't meant to be this time around, so I guess I kind of want my cake and eat it, too.

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