KFC announces the first-ever female Colonel Sanders

And country music fans will recognise her.

KFC has made history by announcing the first-ever female Colonel Sanders.

Country singer Reba McEntire is the unexpected choice as the brand promotes its new Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken.

The dish launches in KFC outlets this Monday, January 29.

The advert featuring McEntire as Colonel Harland Sanders launches a day earlier on TV, but you can watch it right now on YouTube.

“I grew up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s part of my story, and I’m so excited to now be part of theirs,” McEntire said.

“I’ve held a lot of roles in my life – sort of like the Colonel himself – but this is certainly the most unique one yet.”

In the ad, titled Honky Tonk, McEntire sings a country and western track to a busy bar of people munching on fried chicken.

“I’m Colonel Sanders, the same as always, absolutely nothing’s changed / Oh please ignore any likeness to a famous country singer / I’m definitely not a woman,” she starts, before bigging up the new flavour.

As well as portraying the KFC mascot, McEntire also plays herself in the ad, with a cowboy hat landing neatly on her head as she’s sat at one of the bar’s tables.

McEntire has been in the music business for over four decades now, notching up countless hits on the country charts and several country music awards.

Her last studio album was 2017’s Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, made up of a disc of traditional hymns and another of new tracks.

She’s also had a sprinkling of movie roles, most notably alongside Kevin Bacon in 1990 monster movie Tremors.

McEntire also sang the US National Anthem at WrestleMania VIII in 1992.

The country singer isn’t the first famous face to play the Colonel.

As well as lesser-known actors, the face of KFC has previously been played by the likes of Billy Zane, Ray Liotta and Billy Zane, among others.