Interview: Kristin Chenoweth considers herself ‘a creature of the live audience,’ co-hosting American Country Awards live on Fox Monday
A version of this story appears on the cover of Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read about the Oklahomans nominated for the American Country Awards, click here.
Kristin Chenoweth considers herself ‘a creature of the live audience’
For the second year, the award-winning actress/singer, who hails from Broken Arrow, is co-hosting the American Country Awards with country star Trace Adkins.
Singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth may be best known for her Tony-winning Broadway roles and her Emmy-honored television career.
But the multitalented performer has country music in her heart, thanks to her Oklahoma upbringing.
“With this last album I did, I really wanted to pay homage to how I grew up singing. And that was a huge influence on me, obviously, because as you know, in Oklahoma there’s 45 country music stations and maybe one pop-rock,” Chenoweth told The Oklahoman with a laugh.
“So think about who my influences were: They were Dolly and Reba and Trisha and Shania and Patsy and Loretta. Those were the people that I listened to. Of course, I loved the Broadway cast albums ‘cause we didn’t have tons of Broadway coming through Broken Arrow, but that was largely my musical influence.
“It’s so funny when people say, ‘Who are your favorite performers?’ It’s Julie Andrews, Madeline Kahn and Dolly Parton and Sandi Patty, which I know is very eclectic. But that was how it was for me in Oklahoma.”
Along with releasing her debut country album, “Some Lessons Learned,” last year, the suburban Tulsa native, 44, co-hosted the 2011 American Country Awards with multiplatinum country star Trace Adkins.
The 4-foot-11-inch classically trained soprano again will share hosting duties with 6-foot-6-inch baritone at the third annual awards show, which will air live from Las Vegas at 7 p.m. Monday on Fox. Along with meeting more of the country stars she loves hearing on the radio, Chenoweth said she is most looking forward to reuniting with Adkins, who hosted the fledgling ACAs solo in their first year.
“Honestly, that’s what brought me back this year. It’s him,” Chenoweth said Monday in a teleconference. “He is a really good person. He has a very good sense of humor and for some reason we have kind of a fun chemistry. It’s not two people that you would necessarily put together, but it works. I just flat out adore him.”
Although 2012 has been a tough year for Chenoweth, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer sounded like her usual optimistic self as she chatted about the fan-voted ACAs, her celebrated Broadway career and the challenges of balancing her many professional interests with her social life, including dating. She has recently been linked with former “Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka.
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