Reba’s resume includes Country Music Hall of Fame member, recording artist, Broadway star, film and television actress and fashion designer, just to name a few over the last four decades. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will pay tribute to her with the exhibit Reba: All the Women I Am, which opens August 9 and runs through June 8, 2014.
“Reba is the most successful female country performer of her generation, and a major influence on many of the female recording artists who have followed her,” Museum Director Kyle Young said. “Her achievements and accolades are almost too numerous to mention: She has sold more than 40 million records, charted nearly 60 Top Ten singles and 24 No. 1 hits, and been honored with nearly 50 major awards, including two GRAMMY awards, the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year award and the Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year award; she is also one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress. And, of course, she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
“It’s impossible to overstate Reba’s impact on country music, and her contributions go well beyond recording,” he continued. “She heightened production values for country concerts, adding elaborate stages, video screens and multiple costume changes. Such innovations are now de rigueur on the tours of top country artists. Furthermore, through her work on Broadway, in film, and as the star of two television comedies, Reba has helped to heighten and expand the profile of country music, lifting all boats in her magnificent wake. We are looking forward to telling the rich, inspiring and always entertaining story of one of country music’s brightest lights.”
Born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 28, 1955, Reba crew up in Chockie, Oklahoma on a cattle ranch. She traveled regularly to rodeos with her father, champion calf roper Clark McEntire. Inspired by their mother, Jackie, a singer, Reba and her siblings Pake and Susie began performing as the Singing McEntires while in high school.
In 1974, Reba sang the national anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City where cowboy singer Red Steagall heard her and financed a recording session, leading to signing with Mercury Records in 1975. She released her first single in 1976, and two years later scored her first Top 20 hit with “Three Sheets in the Wind,” a duet with Jacky Ward. Her first Top 10 came in 1980 with “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven” and in 1982–83, she charted her first No. 1s with “Can’t Even Get the Blues” and “You’re the First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving.”
Reba moved to MCA Records in 1983, taking more control of her career and the material she recorded. Over the next decade, Reba produced a slew of what would become classic country hits such as “How Blue,” “Somebody Should Leave,” “Whoever’s in New England,” “The Last One to Know” and many more.
A series of groundbreaking headliner tours launched Reba into superstardom. During this same time, music videos became an important tool for reaching fans. Her video for “Whoever’s in New England” sparked her interest in acting, and in 1990 she appeared in her first film, Tremors. She went on to appear in 10 more films, to date.
In March 1991, seven members of Reba’s band, her road manager, and the pilot and co-pilot of a chartered private jet were killed in a plane crash. Reba took an extended break from touring and recorded the album For My Broken Heart. The record, which contained a handful of hits, including the title song, “Is There Life Out There” and “The Greatest Man I Never Knew,” became one of her best sellers.
Throughout the 1990s, Reba continued her chart success. In January 2001, Reba ventured to Broadway, starring in Annie Get Your Gun where her performance was met with critical acclaim. From 2001 to 2007, Reba starred in her own hit comedy series, Reba.
When Reba ended, she refocused her efforts on touring and recording. She left MCA Records and signed with Valory Music Group in 2008. Her first album for the label, Keep on Loving You, was released in August 2009.
A savvy businesswoman, Reba founded Starstruck Entertainment in 1988, a multi-dimensional corporation including booking, management, music publishing, a recording studio and transportation services. In 1989, she married her manager, Narvel Blackstock, who continues to oversee Starstruck.
Reba is currently starring in the ABC comedy Malibu Country. Her most recent album, All the Women I Am, includes the No. 1 hit “Turn on the Radio.”