On Mar. 28, 1955, Reba McEntire was born in McAlester, Okla., to Clark Vincent and Jacqueline Smith McEntire. The third of four children, she was raised on her family’s 8,000-acre family ranch in Chockie, Okla., and traveled frequently to watch her father compete at rodeos. Her father was the World Champion Steer Roper in 1957, 1958, and 1961, an honor her grandfather John McEntire also won in 1934. She would later follow in the family tradition by participating in barrel racing competitions from the time she was 11-years old until she was 21. Her mother, a former schoolteacher and secretary to the superintendent of Kiowa High School, had once harbored dreams of being a Country Music singer. Instead, she had four children and taught them how to sing and harmonize on the long car trips.
Reba sang the National Anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City on Dec. 10, 1974. Her performance so impressed Red Steagall, who was also performing at the event, that he invited her to Nashville to record demos for his music publishing company. After recording Reba during her spring break in March 1975, Steagall shopped her tapes around Nashville and secured her deal with Polygram Mercury Records in November.
Although her first recordings were not that successful, Reba worked steadily to build her career. The first single, “I Don’t Want to Be a One Night Stand,” peaked at No. 88 in 1976, followed in 1977 by “(There’s Nothing Like the Love) Between a Woman and a Man” at No. 86, and “Glad I Waited Just For You,” at No. 88, and her self-titled debut album, which did not chart at all. Despite the lack of initial chart success, she was invited to debut on the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 17, 1977, which happened to be 30 years to the day when her father won the All Around at the Pendleton, Org. rodeo. Although her next two albums still would not chart, Reba began building momentum when she cracked the Top 20 with songs such as “Three Sheets in the Wind” (with Jacky Ward) and her cover of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.” She achieved her first Top 10 hit when “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven” reached No. 8 in 1980, and she followed it with the Top 5 “Today All Over Again.” Showing career growth, her fourth album, Heart to Heart, became her first charting album, peaking at No. 42 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. Her fifth album, Unlimited, eventually rose to No. 22 on the charts and featured her No. 3 hit “I’m Not That Lonely Yet,” as well as her first two No. 1 hits: “Can’t Even Get the Blues” and “You’re The First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving.”
Proving her business acumen, Reba and her manager Narvel Blackstock created Starstruck Entertainment in 1988 to handle her management, booking, publicity, publishing, and more. The company went on to work with other artists as well, including Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. One year later, she married Blackstock, who had been part of her organization since 1980 when he joined as the steel player for her band. In 1990, she gave birth to their son Shelby Steven McEntire Blackstock. She would later share stories from her life and marriage in her 1994 autobiography Reba: My Story and her 1999 book Comfort from a Country Quilt. Years later, the couple would expand her brand and oversee the creation and development of successful clothing, footwear, luggage, and home collection lines that are sold nationwide in Dillard’s.
After getting a taste of acting from her music videos, Reba began exploring her options in Hollywood. She first appeared alongside Kevin Bacon and Michael Gross in the comic, horror film “Tremors,” in 1990. Over the years, she would continue with roles in movies such as “North” (1994), “The Little Rascals” (1994), and “One Night at McCool’s” (2001). She also appeared in a string of television movies, including: “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw” with Kenny Rogers in 1991; “The Man From Left Field” with Burt Reynolds in 1993; “Is There Life Out There?” in 1994 (based on her hit song and music video); “Buffalo Girls” in 1995 (where she first played Annie Oakley); “Forever Love” in 1998 (also based on her hit song); and “Secret of Giving” in 1999. Her distinctive voice was heard as the goddess Artemis in the animated television series “Hercules” (1998); Betsy the Cow in the movie “Charlotte’s Web” (2006); and Dixie the dog in animated movie “The Fox and the Hound 2” (2006). In 2001, Reba triumphed when she took over the role of Annie Oakley in the Broadway play “Annie Get Your Gun,” previously played in this revival by Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci, and Cheryl Ladd. Reba brought new life to the production, and with it came rave reviews, sold out performances, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
In 2007, she released Reba Duets, an album that paired her with artists including Kenny Chesney (on “Every Other Weekend”), and Kelly Clarkson (on “Because of You”), as well as Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Don Henley, Carole King, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes, Justin Timberlake, and Trisha Yearwood. This became her first album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
Reba’s life and career were recently featured in the REBA: ALL THE WOMEN I AM Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN. The exhibit contained more than two dozen costumes, personal possessions, vintage photographs and career-spanning audio and video.
One of the most successful female recording artists in history, Reba has sold over 56 million albums worldwide and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. She has won 15 American Music Awards; 13 ACM Awards;9 People’s Choice Awards; 7 CMA Awards; 2 GRAMMY Awards; an ACM Career Achievement Honor; and is one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress.
Reba’s reign of #1 hits spans four decades and Billboard, Country Aircheck and Mediabase recognized her as the biggest female hitmaker in Country music history. She earned her 64th Top 10 hit and her 35th #1 with “Turn On The Radio,” from her most recent album, ALL THE WOMEN I AM. Reba’s run of sales successes has garnered her in the upper echelon of #1 albums in the Country genre.During her 2011 ALL THE WOMEN I AM TOUR, both Pollstar and Billboard’s Boxscore (the touring industry’s leading trade outlets) named Reba the #1 female Country touring artist, selling a combined total of over 9 million tickets in her career.
Source from Reba’s Website