Reba McEntire recently released her gospel album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, and she tells Taste of Country that recording the project was often a cathartic experience.

Sing It Now is filled with gospel songs McEntire grew up with, and many of those songs, such as “How Great Thou Art” and “In the Garden,” brought back memories of family members who have since passed away.

"The hardest one to sing is 'How Great Thou Art' because that was Grandma Smith's, one of her favorite songs," McEntire tells Taste of Country. "I was so emotional listening to it I would just sob."

The singer says that after she recorded both songs, her mother told her that “How Great Thou Art” and “In the Garden” were her grandmother's favorite songs.

"It didn't bother me so much to sing 'In the Garden,'" McEntire says. "'How Great Thou Art' wrecked me," and listening back to the latter would often have the country icon sobbing.

McEntire's new single is "Back to God," and the singer admits that her relationship with God has fluctuated throughout the years.

"It's always the time when I'm desperate that I seek Him more," she confesses. "When things are going great, probably not as much; in my older years, it's staying more consistent. Growing up, I can see it where I was way far away from Him, and then I would come back and go, 'Why have I separated like this?'"

McEntire adds that it hurts to be so vulnerable on an album, but she realizes that it is this vulnerability that also causes healing.

“I’m just like everybody else,” McEntire tells Taste of Country. “I cry, I scream, I shout … but not often. Not often. I’m more like a volcano. I hold it in and try to stay steady, I can do this, do this — and then it just explodes and then I’m OK.”

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