Things You Might Not Know About Reba McEntirePublished on March 28, 2016. Updated March 17, 2020
Reba McEntire is one of the most multi-faceted country stars out there. She has a country singing career that has spanned decades and she’s acted in films, starred in her own sitcom and currently owns several businesses. Since it’s her birthday, here are 10 fascinating things that you didn’t know about the chart-topping country singer:
10. Born to Play
She taught herself how to play the guitar. Using a Dummies book, she learned how to read notes and then practiced cords until her fingers were calloused. Listening to the radio, she and her siblings learned to sing harmonies.
9. Singing McEntires
She and two of her siblings, Pake and Susie, formed a vocal group called the Singing McEntires. They performed at rodeos and Reba played the guitar and wrote all of the songs for the group.
8. An Elementary School Teacher
She attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University and planned to become an elementary school teacher before she landed her first recording contract.
7. First Marriage
She divorced her first husband, Charles Battles, because he wanted her to stay at home and help with the ranch. “I had to pack everything in one day and leave. I was totally starting over,” Reba said.
6. Love of Basketball
Growing up, she loved basketball. According to her, she lived and breathed for the sport.
She’s allergic to dust and dirt.
4. Role Model
Dolly Parton is her role model. “I’d say Dolly Parton is my all-time favorite. Her and Loretta run a real close race. But Dolly is my all-time favorite. I’ve watched her, I’ve studied her,” she said.
She’s had shingles twice because of stress, but she won’t get it again because she’s since had the vaccination.
2. A Horrible Tragedy
Back in 1991, while on tour for her album Rumor Has It, Reba lost seven of her band members and her tour manager in a plane crash near the U.S.-Mexican border. The plane had been en route to Amarillo, Texas, to refuel and then was supposed to head to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the country star had a concert scheduled. After the tragedy, she dedicated her next album, For My Broken Heart, to her deceased road band.
1. Daughter in Law
Her stepson Brandon Blackstock is married to Kelly Clarkson. Kelly reportedly tried to talk Reba and her second husband Narvel Blackstock into staying together, but they ultimately decided to split anyway.