McEntire, Clarkson sharing band


NASHVILLE -- Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson's upcoming "2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour" will find the pair joining forces to share one band, one stage and plenty of hits.

The 15-city tour, which will include stops in Louisville, Indianapolis, Norfolk, Va., and Winston-Salem, N.C., will kick off Jan. 17 in Dayton at Nutter Center and wrap Feb. 16 at Kansas City's new Sprint Center.

McEntire said the tour, and Clarkson's appearance on her recent "Reba Duets" album, is the result of a successful CMT "Crossroads" collaboration. "We had such a good time together," she said. "Kelly and I were disappointed because it was over so fast."

The concept for the tour is something that McEntire and husband/manager Narvel Blackstock have been talking about for a few years. "Narvel and I have wanted to do this package where we had one band backing three or four different girls for a long time," McEntire said. "We never could get it pulled together, but Kelly said 'yes.'" (Blackstock began managing Clarkson last summer.)

The pair will be backed by a single band and will stay on stage throughout the show, "Unless she's doing a song and I want to use the bathroom," McEntire said, laughing.

And though McEntire is known for her big stage productions and costume changes, this tour will be different. "This is not about the big production -- this is about the music," she says. "This is about two singers who love to sing, whether it's lead or harmony."

McEntire, Billboard's 2007 Woman of the Year, called the limited engagement tour a "test run" that might be expanded. "It depends on the people -- my fans, Kelly's fans, new fans -- if they're interested, whether they like it or not and come out and see it.

"I hope it works out," McEntire said of the possibility of an extended tour. "I love working with Kelly. Onstage it's magical. It's just electrifying."

The pairing works, McEntire said, because of their mutual admiration. "She's a huge fan of my music, which delights the fire out of me, and I'm a huge fan of her music," she said. "We're both gonna have so much fun singing each other's songs. They're great songs. Her songs tell stories and so do mine -- they're heartfelt, they're emotional, they're fun."