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How Blake Shelton Helped Convince Reba McEntire to Join The Voice as a Coach

"He was really encouraging me to do it," McEntire told NBC Insider ahead of The Voice Season 24 premiere. 

By Christopher Rosa

The Voice Season 24 Coaches panel includes returning veterans Gwen Stefani and John Legend, second-timer Niall Horan (fresh off his Season 23 win), and newbie Reba McEntire

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Watch The Voice on NBC and Peacock. 

To be fair, McEntire isn't exactly a newbie on The Voice. She appeared as a Battle Advisor for Blake Shelton's team in Season 1 and returned as the Mega Mentor for all teams in Season 23. The latter appearance was a fitting passing of the torch between Shelton and McEntire. After all, Season 24 marks the first time Shelton isn't in the Coaches lineup — and while McEntire's not his replacement, she's absolutely the dominant country-music presence on the show. 

Fans might not know McEntire was originally approached to be a Coach on The Voice during its development stages (before Shelton!). She passed on the project then — but more than a decade later, she's changed her tune. And we all have a certain cowboy to thank. 

RELATED: From Tremors to Colonel Sanders: A History of Reba McEntire's Acting Roles

Blake Shelton encouraged Reba McEntire to become a Coach on The Voice

Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire on The Voice.

McEntire opened up to NBC Insider about why she changed her mind about doing The Voice. Great experiences as a Battle Advisor and Mega Mentor ultimately made her see the potential fun of the job. 

"There were lots of little times where I thought this would be a lot of fun to get to do," McEntire said. "I'd gotten to do it before with Blake [as a Mega Mentor and Battle Advisor]. When we were filming with Blake's team [in Season 23], he said, 'You really ought to come on and do this. You'd have fun.' He was really encouraging me to do it." 

RELATED: What Awards Has The Voice's Reba McEntire Won?

Nowadays, McEntire is firmly planted in The Voice universe.  "It's a well-oiled machine, so getting in at this time is marvelous," she told Newsweek in a recent interview.  "Everybody knows the game plan, from the crew, the producers. Everybody on the show is so nice, so sweet, and have been so helpful. I'm loving it."

But has she received any helpful tips from the MVP himself, Shelton? "[We've done] just a little bit of texting," she told NBC Insider. "No advice yet. I'ma pick his brain about it later. Once I've kinda gotten my feet wet." 

— Reporting by Tara Bennett