Reba McEntire is a true country diva. From the moment she took the stage during the late 1970s, she became a fan favorite adored by millions.
Throughout her life, she was married twice and she has one son, Shelby.
However, despite her enormous success and the infatuating smile on her face, Reba has experienced several heartbreaks.
In 2022, Reba lost her mother Jacqueline to cancer. This was a huge blow since the two were extremely close and nurtured a loving mother-daughter relationship. ”She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was ready to go. The cancer might think it won the battle but we’re giving God all the credit on selecting the time for her to go home to Him,” the country star wrote on social media.
Back in the day, when she was young, Jacqueline wished to become a singer herself, but since her dream didn’t turn into a reality, she taught her daughter how to sing. “She left knowing how much she is loved and we all know how much she loved us. We’re all going to miss her but we have so many wonderful memories,” Reba said.
Sadly, this wasn’t the first time that Reba experienced loss and sorrow. 32 years ago, on March 16, seven members of her band, along with her manager, lost their lives in a horrific airplane crash.
The band was having a concert in San Diego on that day in 1991 and were flying to Fort Wayne, Ind., to perform their next concert on the tour. Reba and her then-husband were supposed to fly with another plane but they decided to stay in San Diego for the night. The band’s airplane was crushed just ten miles after it took off.
Although it’s been over three decades since the tragic crash, Reba never misses a chance to pay tribute to the late members of her band.
Back in 2012, Reba opened up about the tragedy during an interview with Oprah. “The tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane,” she said.
“When we were notified, Narvel (Reba’s manager) went and met with our pilot, and he told us what had happened. And Narvel came back to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three o’clock in the morning — and he said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they OK?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘But you’re not sure?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’”
As she recalled the tragic day, Reba couldn’t contain tears from running down her face.
“Narvel was going room to room with a phone and calling …” she began, pausing as tears came to her eyes. “I’m sorry — it’s been 20 years, but it’s just like — I don’t guess it ever quits hurting,” she said. “But I can see that room. I can see Narvel walking back and forth.”
In 2020, the singer paid tribute to those who were killed in the crash. “29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash. The timing of Mama’s passing with that anniversary seems appropriate,” she posted on social media.
“I know they’re all in Heaven together and taking care of each other. Let’s keep finding ways to take care of each other down here on earth and never take one moment with our loved ones for granted.”
Her fans were quick to post messages of support. “Reba I’ve always loved your music, and our shared horse background, and now following you on Insta. Prayers for you and your mother ” one fan wrote.
This year wasn’t any different. Reba couldn’t help by share with the world that besides the number of years that have passed, she’s still saddened by her friends’ fate and their tragic loss.
”Their love for music and the stage gives us all the strength to go on,” she wrote along with a video of one of their performances together as a band.
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