Reba McEntire, a true country icon, captured the hearts of millions when she first graced the stage in the late 1970s. Despite her immense success and captivating smile, her life has been marked by several heartaches.
In 2022, Reba endured a significant loss when her beloved mother, Jacqueline, succumbed to cancer. Their bond was exceptionally close, nurturing a loving mother-daughter relationship. Reba shared on social media, “She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely ready to go. The cancer may have thought it won the battle, but we give all the credit to God for choosing the time for her to return to Him.”
In her younger days, Jacqueline harbored dreams of becoming a singer herself. Although her own aspirations didn’t materialize, she shared her passion with her daughter, Reba, and taught her 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 expressed.
Regrettably, Reba has known her share of grief and loss. A tragic incident unfolded 32 years ago on March 16 when seven members of her band, along with her manager, lost their lives in a devastating airplane crash.
The band had a concert scheduled in San Diego that day in 1991 and was en route to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for their next tour performance. Reba and her then-husband had originally planned to fly separately, but a change of plans led them to stay in San Diego that night. Tragically, the band’s plane crashed just ten miles after takeoff.
ven though more than three decades have passed since the tragic crash, Reba continues to honor the memory of the late members of her band.
In a 2012 interview with Oprah, Reba opened up about the heartbreaking incident. “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 recounted.
Recalling the moment of notification, Reba described how her manager, Narvel, met with their pilot and then came to her hotel room in the middle of the night. The conversation was harrowing, with Reba asking, “Are they OK?” and Narvel responding, “I don’t think so.” The uncertainty and the weight of the news were overwhelming.
As she revisited that fateful day, tears welled up in Reba’s eyes. She struggled to hold back her emotions, saying, “I’m sorry — it’s been 20 years, but it’s just like — I don’t guess it ever quits hurting.” The memory of Narvel walking back and forth in that room still haunted her.
In 2020, the singer commemorated the individuals who tragically lost their lives in the plane crash. She shared on social media, “29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash. The timing of my mother’s passing coinciding with that anniversary feels fitting.”
She added, “I believe they are all together in Heaven, watching over each other. Let’s continue to find ways to support one another here on earth and cherish every moment with our loved ones.”
Her devoted fans expressed their solidarity and care, with one admirer stating, “Reba, I’ve always admired your music and our shared equestrian connection, and now, following you on Instagram. Sending prayers for you and your mother 🙏🏻.”
This year, the sentiments remained unchanged. Reba couldn’t refrain from expressing her enduring sorrow for her friends’ tragic fate and their profound loss.
She shared, “The passage of time hasn’t lessened the weight of their absence. Their passion for music and the stage continues to inspire and fortify us all.” Accompanying her message was a video capturing one of their band’s memorable performances.
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