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Trisha Yearwood ‘Excited, Nervous … Scared to Death’ About Releasing ‘PrizeFighter’

Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

The last time Trisha Yearwood released new music, President George W. Bush was in office and people were still trying to guess how ABC’s ‘Lost’ would end. A lot — like a whole lot — has changed in the industry since, and the star is admittedly nervous about where she’ll fit. In many ways, Yearwood sees herself as the fighter in her new single ‘PrizeFighter.’

"I’m excited, I’m nervous, optimistic, scared to death. All those things. But as an artist, what I feel I have to do is make music."

The song — a collaboration with Kelly Clarkson — is the title track from an album of hits and new music scheduled for later this year or 2015. Given the landscape for women in country music, and her age, Yearwood recognizes the challenge of getting radio airplay. Still, she’s undaunted.

“Logic would say … the odds are kind of against me,” she said in a recent interview. “But there’s something in the air, and I think this song has a lot to do with the energy I’m feeling around me.”

“I’m excited, I’m nervous, optimistic, scared to death. All those things. But as an artist, what I feel I have to do is make music,” adds Yearwood.

Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

From a nuts and bolts standpoint, everything about recording music has changed since the 49-year-old put out ‘Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love’ in 2007. She says music today is drier, meaning there’s less reverb.

“In the ‘90s everything was covered up in reverb,” Yearwood recalls. “I call it confidence. So if I’m in the studio, I’m like, ‘Can you turn my confidence button up a little bit?’”

Promoting and releasing music in a digital world is something she has not figured out entirely, but she doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. Finding the right songs and doing them justice is her focus. When she first heard ‘PrizeFighter,’ Yearwood says she thought of her mother, Gwen, who died in 2011 after a battle with breast cancer. The addition of Clarkson happened naturally. The two are friends and share a mutual admiration for one another.

“When I heard this song, it was a challenge enough for me to sing, and I thought ‘It needs a harmony above,’” Yearwood says, adding that since they laid down vocals, she’s been fielding a swarm of excited phone calls and texts from the original ‘American Idol’ winner.

When the ‘PrizeFighter’ album is released, it will include six new songs and eight hits from previous albums, plus ‘In Another’s Eyes,’ Yearwood’s duet with Garth Brooks. There’s no firm set list or timetable yet. The star will join her husband on tour beginning next week in Chicago. She’ll also release her new cookbook, ‘Trisha’s Table,’ in April 2015.

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