Trisha Yearwood Shares Her Secrets for Beating Stage Nerves Ahead of Hosting ‘CMA Country Christmas’
Trisha Yearwood will assume hosting duties for the annual CMA Country Christmas TV special in 2019, her first-ever turn at the gig. Reba McEntire helmed the special in 2017 and 2018, and before that, Jennifer Nettles was the reigning CMA Country Christmas host. She did the honors for seven years running, ever since the special's very first year.
The holiday special isn't entirely new to Yearwood: She's taken the stage as a performer in previous years. However, she says that hosting the event is an entirely different ball game, especially since she has to follow McEntire's legendary talents for entertaining.
"Hosting -- the biggest thing is that, like, a quick change is Reba's second nature. She could probably do it in her sleep," Yearwood pointed out to The Boot and other outlets before filming the special. "I've never done this before! So I'm in there looking at four outfits, trying to think, 'How do I get this done?!'"
It may surprise some fans, but even a seasoned pro such as Yearwood gets pre-show jitters now and again. "I want it to be good, you know? I want it to be fun for everybody. So I'm excited, and I'm nervous. I'm really nervous. I didn't sleep last night!" she admits.
In fact, Yearwood says, performing in front of a crowd is something that she had to work to get comfortable doing. "I know it's crazy because it's what I do for a living, is singing in front of people, but I'm an introvert," she reveals. "Which is probably hard to believe! Singing in front of an audience and talking in front of an audience is something I've had to learn to be comfortable doing."
There's a line in Yearwood's newest single, "Every Girl in This Town," that speaks to her anxieties about getting up onstage: "It says, 'You got this, baby / So what if you don't?' I think we all have that thing ... You think, 'Everybody's gonna figure out that I don't know what I'm doing.' There's that moment, before you do what you do, where you think, 'Why am I here?'" she reflects.
"That little voice is always in my head, a little bit," Yearwood adds. "But I also do have a kind of supreme confidence that I do know how to sing. I know that what I'm gonna go out there and do is something that I can do."
Plus, the singer says, she's got a couple tricks up her sleeve to fend off stage fright. "The thing that's helped me not be so nervous, especially on a show like this, is I'll pick out someone who's younger than me and more nervous than me, and I'll go up to them and make them not be nervous," Yearwood shares. "That helps me. And they don't realize that it's helping me."
Who Else Is Performing at 2019 CMA Country Christmas? See Pics!