Country queen Reba McEntire was born on March 28, 1955, in the small town of McAlester, Oklahoma. She grew up on her family’s ranch along with her brother, Pike, and her sisters, Susie and Alice. The whole family worked on the ranch together. Everyone helped to tend the cattle, cook, and clean. Reba learned at a very young age, the importance of hard work. At a very young age, Reba had a strong work ethic.
Reba’s mother always wanted to be a country music singer but became a school teacher instead. Her father and her grandfather were rodeo steer ropers. Her father, Clark Vincent McEntire was a three-time World Champion Steer Roper. When Reba was just 5-years-old, her father taught her how to drive so that she could get around the ranch. During the winter, she would drive his truck around the ranch while he kicked bales of hay off for the cattle.
Reba’s mother shared her passion for country music with her children. Reba sang for the first time in public at her first grade Christmas play, singing Away In the Manger. When the family would travel to her father’s rodeo events, the whole family would sing in the car. Soon, the family started singing at local events, and they were called The Singing McEntires. Soon, Reba was singing on the local radio, and she was singing the national anthems at rodeo competitions. During this time, she was inspired by Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Patsy Cline.
The family recorded an album after they became famous for singing in honey-tonks, local bars, and dance halls. The song they recorded was called The Ballad of John McEntire. They sold around 1,000 copies. Shortly after the release of their album, Reba graduated from high school. She went on to college at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. There, she majored in education with a minor in music. It was then she realized that she wanted singing to be her life. Finally, in 1974, she was discovered while singing the national anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City and country singer, Red Steagall heard her sing.
Getting Married and a Career Blossoms
Reba married rodeo star Charlie Battles in 1976. Around the same time, her first single reached No. 88 on the Billboard country music chart. Her next few singles weren’t major hits, reaching No. 19 at its best. She felt like she really made it when she was asked to sing at the Grand Ole Opry. Finally, in 1983, she had a No. 1 hit. Soon, she tried her hand at acting. Sadly, around the same time, her marriage fell apart.
Reba and Narvel
Reba met her Narvel Blackstock in 1980. At the time, he was her band’s steel guitar player. By 1987, he was working as her manager. He was also there to support her while she was going through a messy divorce with her first husband. During this time, the two became close. Over time, the best friends became romantic. In 1989, they were married on a boat in the middle of Lake Tahoe.
After the wedding, the two were a power couple. They focused a lot on Reba’s career and created a management company together called Starstruck. When Reba married Narvel, she became stepmother to his three children. In 1990, the couple had a son together who they maned Shelby. Today, Shelby is a race car driver.
A Broken Heart
When Narvel asked for a divorce, Reba was devastated. She says that if it were up to her, they would have been married forever. She had to make significant life changes to get used to living alone for the first time in 26 years.
The Ultimate Betrayal
He was the love of her life for 26 years, but then he found his. As if her ex moving on so quickly wasn’t hard enough for Reba, who he moved on with made things even worse. She found out that he was dating her best friend, Laura Putty Stroud. It was the ultimate betrayal for Reba.
Reba decided not to let this betrayal get her down. She broke away from her ex and started her won company called, Reba’s Business Inc., and it is very successful. She has also gotten out there by getting into the studio again. This time, she had the number one hits from the very beginning. She also starred as Colonel Sanders in a KFC commercial and spending time with her son and her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson. What could have killed Reba only made her stronger. She is an amazing woman. She endured so much over her life, but she doesn’t let anything keep her down for long.