Another celebrity has filled the shoes of the KFC Colonel Sanders, and this one may surprise you.
The new Colonel is: Reba McEntire, who is the first female celebrity in the role.
McEntire’s outfit has fringe on the back, and a glittery shine, giving the getup “a little bit of the country music flair,” she told The Associated Press in an interview. McEntire sings on stage as the Colonel, with a white wig and white facial hair.
“I thought the transformation was really funny,” said McEntire, who will appear in the ads until the end of April. “I got a big kick out of it.”
KFC said it picked McEntire because of her Southern roots, and to help promote its new Smoky Mountain BBQ, which combines fried chicken with a taste of barbeque. McEntire said she’s eaten at KFC all her life, since her days growing up in Oklahoma.
McEntire was approached about doing so in December. “I said ‘Holy smokes!’,” McEntire told The AP. “KFC has been a part of my life forever.”
She sings in the ad, in a tongue-in-cheek approach: “I’m Colonel Sanders, the same as always,” McEntire sings. “I’m definitely not a woman.” McEntire also appears as herself in the commercial, as an audience member.
Col. Harland Sanders, who died 36 years ago, first started selling fried chicken from a single restaurant in 1930. KFC, now owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc., resurrected the Colonel for its ads in 2015 after a nearly 20 year absence, hiring Rob Lowe, Ray Liotta and other famous men for the role.