It's been a busy 2021 for Tenille Townes so far: Not only did she just release her new EP, Masquerades, but she also joined Reba McEntire in February for a string of stops on the Reba: Live in Concert tour.

During a recent conversation with the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, Townes described McEntire's influence as unforgettable, both onstage and off. "She just makes everyone feel so loved up there [onstage]," the younger singer recounted. "And she's got this incredible legacy of music that's just carried everybody through the years."

McEntire's knack for making the people around her feel special extends beyond the stage. Townes says that her legendary tour boss made it a point to make her feel welcome on the bill.

"She had this handwritten note waiting in my dressing room and this beautiful gift [that said] that she was so happy to have me out at these shows, and she was just cheering for my music and my path," Townes continues. "It really was so kind. It meant so much."

Supporting a new generation of women in country was a big part of the Reba: Live in Concert tour. Townes was one of seven talented openers, along with Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Reyna Roberts, Hannah Dasher, Caitlyn Smith and Brittney Spencer.

Townes' musical journey continues with Masquerades, her new seven-song collection, which arrived on Friday. The project features a duet with Breland called "Shared Walls" and another, "When You Need It," with L.A.-based singer-songwriter Wrabel. Masquerades also features Townes' current single, "When's it Gonna Happen."

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