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Why Reba McEntire Nearly Stopped Making Music

Why Reba McEntire Nearly Stopped Making Music

Reba McEntire found herself contemplating a departure from her music career when the loss of her beloved mother, Jacqueline Smith, struck her with profound grief. Her mother’s passing from cancer at the age of 93 weighed heavily on the country legend.

In a heartfelt interview on Today With Hoda & Jenna, the 68-year-old artist shared the pain she endured during this difficult time. As the hosts guided viewers through cherished family photos, McEntire recalled a conversation with her sister Susie. She confided, “I said, ‘I just don’t think I’m going to do this anymore.’ I always did it for Mama.”

To this, her sister offered a comforting response, assuring her that the spark would return. And indeed, it did. However, the anguish remains a part of her life. Even now, the sight of her mother in photographs triggers a profound emotional response, rendering her speechless. “I can’t talk if I see Mama,” she admitted.

McEntire’s mother played a significant role in fostering the family’s love for music and was a strong supporter of her young, somewhat naive self. Reflecting on her beginnings in the 1970s, McEntire reminisced, “I thought back then when you got a record on the radio, you were rich.”

The matriarch bestowed the gift of music upon the entire family and always stood behind a young Reba McEntire. She recalled how her mother encouraged all her children, which included her brother Pake and sister Alice, in their pursuits. “She taught us harmony. She encouraged us; we were ‘The Singing McEntires’ when we were in high school and junior high.”

Today, Reba McEntire has a packed schedule. She serves as a prominent coach on NBC’s The Voice, has released a new book and album, both titled “Not That Fancy,” and is an advocate for stretching, a daily practice she shares with her partner, Rex Linn.

The Country Music Hall of Famer is making a return with “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” a song featured on her latest album, which is a collection of stripped-down, acoustic tracks produced by the Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. “Seven Minutes” was pitched to Reba by songwriters Olivia Rudeen and Matt Wynn, and it resonated deeply with her. She expressed, “When you find a song that really touches your heart and chokes you up, I’ve gotta sing it, I’ve gotta record it.” You can watch a live performance of “Seven Minutes in Heaven” below.

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