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Reba McEntire Not the Basis of ‘Nashville’ Character Rayna James, Despite Rumors

Reba McEntire
Mike Moore, Stringer

There’s been a lot of anticipation in Music City for the upcoming ABC drama ‘Nashville,’ which centers around the country music business. The show is filming locally in Nashville, and speculation has been swirling as to whether some of the characters are based on real-life country stars. In a new interview, series star Connie Britton insists her character, Rayna James, is not based on Reba McEntire.

In the series, Britton portrays James, a 40-something mother who is being forced to work with Juliette Barnes, an up-and-coming singer played by Hayden Panettiere. According to Country Music Tattletale, McEntire herself heard the rumor that James was modeled after her real life story, which Britton had to deny in person.

“I ran into Reba McEntire on a plane, and she said, ‘Did you hear that they’re saying that you’re playing me in your show?’ And I said, ‘No, I had no idea,’” the former ‘Friday Night Lights’ star shared.

And let it be known that Panettiere’s young superstar character is not modeled after Taylor Swift. The actress recently dispelled those claims, too.

“I’ve heard the Taylor Swift thing quite a bit and I think besides being around the same age and blonde — not even the height — they are different,” Panettiere insists. “I think when you guys see her and get to know Juliette a little better, you’ll see. But I really think Taylor would disagree wholeheartedly as well. She’s much nicer than my character.”

‘Nashville’ premieres on October 10 on ABC.

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