Reba McEntire Relives the Heartbreaking Day She Lost Her Band Over 30 Years Ago

reba mcentire lost her band

While March is Reba McEntire's birthday month, it's also the month she lost her beautiful, inspiring mother and her band.

Ms. McEntire is one of the most acclaimed women in country music. Sometimes called the "Queen of Country," Reba was named Best Female Vocalist four years in a row by the Country Music Association. She is a Grammy Award-winning artist with 30 studio albums, holds a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and has garnered 52 CMA Award nominations-second only to Miranda Lambert's 63. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her work on her sitcom, Reba, and she now serves as one of the esteemed coaches on The Voice.

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Reba Lost Her Mother in 2020

However, Reba McEntire has endured tremendous pain despite her tremendous success and countless accomplishments. Born on March 28, 1955, Reba is 69 years old. Just before celebrating her 65th birthday in 2020, Reba lost her beloved mother to cancer. Reba's mother, Jacqueline McEntire, was 93 when she died on March 14 of that year.

Reba wrote on social media, "She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely 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."

Twenty-nine years earlier, Reba experienced another devastating loss. Her band and tour manager all perished in a plane crash as they traveled from San Diego to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their plane had taken off just a few minutes prior, and they were only about ten miles east of the airport when their jet crashed into a mountain, killing all those on board.

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When Reba spoke with Oprah Winfrey in 2012, she recalled the tragedy, saying, " The tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane."

Reba McEntire Lost Her Band in March of 1991

Reba continued to share that Narvel Blackstock, her husband and manager at the time, got a call from their private pilot, Roger Woolsey. She and Narvel had stayed behind and planned to fly the next morning. Narvel went to the pilot's room and returned with the news of a crash. They weren't sure how bad the accident was; it was around 3:00 a.m.

With tears in her eyes, Reba told Oprah, "Narvel was going room to room with a phone and calling ... I'm sorry-it's been 20 years, but it's just like-I don't guess it ever quits hurting. But I can see that room. I can see Narvel walking back and forth."

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Reba Memorialized Her Band On Social Media

In the years since that horrible day, Reba has memorialized her band on social media. It's likely that she thinks of them daily. In 2023, she posted a photo of the musicians who died that day, and in 2020, she wrote, "29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash. The timing of Mama's passing with that anniversary seems appropriate. 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."

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Reba's fans offered love and support to their Queen of Country. Ms. McEntire will never forget those she lost on March 16, 1991, but thankfully, she is comforted by her beloved fans and her Heavenly Father.

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"Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief." Psalm 31:9

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h/t: Newsner

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/reba