Reba McEntire rose from releasing lackluster songs to making top chart climbers and even becoming one of history’s most famed country icons. Undisputably considered a very successful female performer, the Grammy Award-winning singer has managed to retain her crown as the ‘Queen of Country’. Here are lesser known facts about the fiery country singer and multi-talented superstar who has been making waves in the music scene for over four decades.
An Oklahoma native, McEntire was born into a clan of champion steer ropers on 28th March 1955, in McAlester. Her father, Clark Vincent McEntire was a steer roper and her mom Jacqueline Mcentire, a schoolteacher. Reba’s love for country music stems from her mother who also shared the same interest. Jacqueline exposed her children to music from an early age and nurtured their musical talents. Reba and her siblings soon formed a music band – The Singing McEntires where she was their songwriter and guitarist. The group which performed at rodeos was quite a local sensation until Reba went off to college. Though they later disbanded, that was only the beginning of Reba’s solo career. While aware of her musical gifts, Reba had initially intended to take after her mother careerwise and continue singing as a leisure. It was, therefore, no surprise when she went on to major in elementary education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Also a passionate barrel racer, McEntire was first discovered in December 1974, at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Her awesome performance while singing the National Anthem caught the attention of country star Red Steagall. With Steagall’s help, Mcentire was given a bigger platform after she landed a deal with Mercury Records. However, Reba’s early songs failed to make the desired success. But her first breakthrough came in 1980 with the song You Lift Me Up (To Heaven), not only was it a major hit and top chart climber, it marked the beginning of her journey to being crowned ‘Queen of Country’. McEntire’s career picked up momentum from then on as she did not rest on her laurels but produced hit after hit.
Reba applied the experience working on the cattle range into her music career which helped her successfully transcend gender-politics in an industry dominated by men. Throughout her career so far, McEntire has no less than 80 songs to her credit. A multiple Grammy Award winner, Mcentire is a recipient of other accolades such as the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Country Music Association (CMA) awards as well as the Kennedy Center Honors, among others.
Some of her notable works include her ninth studio album Whoever’s in New England (1986) which earned Reba her first Grammy Award for best female country vocal performance. Also, the 1986 album What Am I Gonna Do About You won her the Entertainer of the Year award by the CMA. For four consecutive years (from 1984 to 1987), McEntire further cemented her status as an iconic singer as she was named the Best Female Vocalist of the Year by the CMA. Her 1990 album Rumor Has It, was certified triple platinum. She is the only country female solo singer whose hit peaked at No. 1 for four straight decades (between 1980 to 2010).
A woman of many talents, McEntire unexpectedly delved into acting. Besides having a handful of screen appearances to her credit, the country singer starred in a WB Network TV eponymous show, Reba which aired for six seasons. The popular show was a huge success as it won McEntire a Golden Globe Award and also established her as a global household name.
Reba Mcentire Family – Married, Husband, Divorce, Son
Unlike her career, McEntire has had a rocky marriage history as she has towed that lane twice. Her first marriage attempt was with Charlie Battles, a rancher and steer wrestling champion. The couple tied the knot in 1976 but the union was shortlived as they divorced in 1987.
Two years later, she married Narvel Blackstock, a steel guitar player. Blackstock was not just McEntire’s husband but also her business partner and manager. Together, the couple had a son Shelby McEntire Blackstock (born on February 23rd, 1990), and also raised three children from Blackstock’s previous marriage. Sadly, after 26 long years together, the couple split in 2015.
Despite the pain and trauma she suffered after the divorce, Reba McEntire seems more than ready to love again as she has recently been romantically linked to Skeeter Lasuzzo, a retired geologist, and photographer. The pair who have been spotted enjoying quality time together on several occasions are apparently in a happier place, at least for now.
Height and Body Measurements
Over the years, the iconic country singer has maintained a slim physique and an hourglass shape. Reba McEntire stands at an average height of 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 60kg. Her body stats are bust 37 inches, waist – 26 inches and hips – 37 inches.