Famous Okies: Reba McEntire

Posted at 10:04 AM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 11:04:24-04

Reba McEntire's career spans decades as one of the most successful country music stars and she happens to be from Oklahoma!

Born on March 28, 1955, in McAlester, Okla., Reba was the third of four children raised on her family's ranch. Growing up, the family would travel to watch Clark, her father, compete at rodeos. Reba's mother taught all her children how to sing and harmonize during their long car trips.

When she was a teen, Reba and her siblings formed their own group and were known as The Singing McEntires. They performed at rodeos, dance halls, and clubs.

After she graduated from high school, Reba attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University where she earned her bachelor's in elementary education with a minor in music.

Reba would sing the National Anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in 1974. Her performance impressed many, including Red Steagall, who later invited her to record demos in Nashville. Steagall would shop her demo tapes around before securing her a deal with Polygram Mercury Records.

It was a slow start to Reba's career — her first recordings were not that successful. Despite the early struggles, she was invited to debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1977. Over time, Reba's momentum and drive caused her success to grow over time.

She would later move to MCA Records in 1983. She would release multiple albums and songs that would reach No. 1 which would land her first CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award in 1984. By the late 80s, Reba was a household name and a country music superstar.

Country music isn't the only interest in her life. Reba started Starstruck Entertainment that not only managed her career but would go on to work with other big-name artists like fellow Oklahoma native Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson. She would also create lifestyle brands in clothing, shoes, and more sold in local retail stores.

As much as Reba is known for her music, she is also known for her acting skills. She's starred in roles across various genres, including "Tremors," "The Little Rascals," and many more. She would star on Broadway as Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" which was an overall critical success.

Her most well-known acting job came after Reba moved to Los Angeles to begin her successful television sitcom “Reba." The show remained in production for six seasons and is beloved by many. During her years in acting, Reba still released music and collaborations with other artists.

Today, Reba is considered to be one of the most successful female recording artists ever. She's sold over 56 million albums globally and won countless awards, including 2 Grammys. Reba is also one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress.

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