Reba McEntire 'Wowed by Kelly Clarkson'

05/14/2009 at 02:15 PM EDT

Reba McEntire 'Wowed by Kelly Clarkson'
Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson
Rick Diamond/WireImage
Who knew pop star Kelly Clarkson would be an inspiration to country legend Reba McEntire?

When the pair toured together last year, McEntire says she learned a lot from the younger singer – so much, in fact, that the pop star inadvertently inspired songs on McEntire's upcoming album, Keep On Loving You.

"When she was doing songs like 'Miss Independent' and her other hits, it was like, Wow!" McEntire told "I had more of an open mind when I listened to songs this time. I seemed to gravitate to sassy women's songs with an attitude."

As a result, the unlikely duo ended up writing tunes together, though McEntire says none of them made it onto her new album. "I'm gonna hold on to some of them and we're still working on some of them," she says, adding that Clarkson may put a song on her album as well.

And, the country star admits that some of the new material proved to be a vocal challenge in the studio. "When I'm attempting to hit what Kelly Clarkson hits, that does take you to a different place!"

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