Reba McEntire is 68 years old today, and she definitely deserves all the accolades she can get. Personally, I feel like I’ve known her my entire life, and I still listen to her many times a week.
But Reba’s life hasn’t been all roses; this year commemorates the 32nd anniversary of an aircraft crash that took the lives of several of her friends.
Reba McEntire was chosen “best singer” four years in a row by the Country Music Association after breaking through in country music in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Of course, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Despite her amazing career and all of her accomplishments, Reba’s life has also been difficult – she has experienced a number of personal tragedies.
Reba’s mother, Jacqueline, passed suddenly from cancer in 2022, at the age of 93.
“She had lived a wonderful, full, and healthy life and was completely prepared to go.” “The cancer may believe it has won the battle, but we’re giving God full credit for choosing the time for her to return to Him,” the country singer posted on social media.
Jacqueline McEntire always wanted to be a professional country singer, and it was she who taught Reba to sing, allowing her dreams to come true via her daughter.
“She left knowing she was loved, and we all know she loved us.” “We’ll all miss her, but we have so many wonderful memories with her,” Reba added.
Reba has surely experienced sadness and loss.
On March 16, 1982, she lost seven of her band mates and her tour manager in a catastrophic aircraft accident during a concert.
I recall that day in 1991. I was on my way to work when I heard about the accident on the radio. When I saw Reba was also on the plane, my heart skipped a beat.
She, on the other hand, was not.
Reba and her band had played in San Diego on March 16, 1991, and were on their way to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for their next stop on the tour.
Two aircraft were waiting at the San Diego airport: the band members and tour manager flew ahead, while Reba, her husband, and manager stayed overnight.
The first plane was unfortunately lost approximately 10 miles east of the airport.
Reba has frequently paid tribute to her lost friends throughout the years.
She spoke up about the day her band died in an emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012.
“The tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane,” McEntire told Winfrey at the time.
“When we were notified, Narvel (Reba’s manager) went to our pilot and told him what had happened.” And Narvel returned to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three a.m. — and said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they OK?’ ‘I don’t think so,’ he responded. ‘But you’re not sure?’ I asked. ‘I don’t think so,’ he responded.
Reba’s eyes welled up as she remembered the specifics of the catastrophe.
“Narvel was going room to room with a phone, calling…” she said, halting as tears welled up in her eyes. “I’m sorry — it’s been 20 years, but it’s just like — I don’t guess it ever quits hurting,” she went on to say. “However, I can see that chamber. Narvel is pacing back and forth.”
It has already been 32 years after the tragedy. She just shared a snapshot of her band on Instagram, reflecting the awful events of that day.
She paid another homage to her pals in 2020.
“I lost my friends in a plane crash 29 years ago today.” “The timing of Mama’s death with that anniversary seems fitting,” she writes.
“I know they’re all in Heaven together, looking after each other.” Let us continue to discover methods to care for one another here on Earth, and never take a single minute with our loved ones for granted.”
Reba’s admirers rushed to her aid, sending messages of encouragement.
Many folks expressed their best wishes and prayers.
“Reba I’ve always like your music, and we both have a horse background. I’m now following you on Instagram. “Prayers for you and your mother,” one supporter commented.
Reba proved once again in 2023 that she will never forget her pals and that she still mourns their awful death.
“Their love for music and the stage gives us all the strength to go on,” she said, sharing a video of the band playing together.
Reba, I’m so sorry. Stay strong, you amazing woman. God has preserved you on this planet for a reason: you make so many people happy. Continue to smile!