Photography: YouTube

The country music queen has become the first female to portray the KFC icon.

And now for something completely different: Grammy Award-winning country music living legend Reba McEntire is making history as the very first female to portray the iconic Colonel Harland Sanders in a new series of television advertisements for Kentucky Fried Chicken. The ads, which are set to start appearing Sunday on TV and computer screens nationwide, are part of the promotional campaign for KFC's new Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken.

And as Reba sees it, the match of product and spokesperson is just plain perfect.

“I grew up with Kentucky Fried Chicken,” she said while announcing the ad campaign. “It’s part of my story, and I’m so excited to now be part of theirs. I’ve held a lot of roles in my life — sort of like the Colonel himself — but this is certainly the most unique one yet.”

KFC’s Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken blends barbeque recipes from Memphis and the Carolinas, creating a BBQ flavor that — yes, you guessed it — is said to be “finger-licking good.” It launches in participating U.S. restaurants on Monday, Jan. 29.

"With Reba's southern roots and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Andrea Zahumensky, CMO, KFC U.S., “she truly embodies the values of the Colonel and the crowd-pleasing flavor of our Smoky Mountain BBQ. The pairing of a universally loved music legend like Reba with a universally appealing flavor like Smoky Mountain BBQ makes what I like to call ‘Smoky Mountain Magic.’”


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