Reba McEntire Confesses She Forgets the Words to Her Most Famous Songs ‘All the Time’

Reba McEntire is a country music legend. Music lovers, in general, will recognize her name even if they’re not fans of her genre.

The 67-year-old songstress has an incredible 24 No. 1 hit songs in her career. Heck, McEntire couldn’t even fill an entire three-hour concert with all of her No. 1 songs. Only Dolly Parton has more than her, at 25, for female country artists.

When you’re a singer and you have that many hits to remember, you’re bound to forget some of the lyrics from time to time.

How does Reba McEntire get back on track when she forgets some of the lyrics?

McEntire still maintains a busy tour schedule, with stops in 17 arenas in late 2022, according to her concert site. In a recent interview on the Bobby Jones Show, the MC asked the country legend if she sometimes forgets the lyrics to some of her most famous songs when on stage.

“Oh shoot yeah, all the time. I look at the audience and say ‘Heck, y’all know these songs better than I do. Y’all sing it.’ Or I’ll kind of look at people in the front row and they’ll be singing along. And I can read their lips and kind of get back on track.”

Clearly, the seasoned pro has been doing this a long time. McEntire still loves performing for crowds, and her fans still love connecting with her.  And at her age with her busy schedule, fans surely understand and they know that she’s still got it.

Reba McEntire’s career so far

The songstress doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Show business has been a huge part of her life for over 55 years.

Born in 1955, Reba began singing in ninth grade with her two younger siblings at rodeos while her dad showed off his skills as a champion roper. The singing McEntires learned how to sing in between stops on the rodeo tour. 

When Reba got to college, she went solo, according to Biography. When she sang the national anthem at National Finals Rodeo in 1974, country music star Red Steagall became impressed. He helped her sign with Mercury records.

Reba McEntire recording her vocal part before a video shoot for the song Amazing Grace
Country legend Reba McEntire in 1994 | Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Six years later, in 1980, “You Lift Me Up (To Heaven)” made it to the top 10 on the Billboard country charts. From 1984 to 1987, CMA named her Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. The Grammy Awards came calling in 1986 after Reba’s 10th studio album, Whoever’s in New England. The title track won for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

Her persona was one of a rodeo girl, a theme she presented in photos and on stage with her big hat, big heart, and flannel shirts. Her persona changed as she matured, as is what happens with many artists.

To this point, Reba has won three Grammys with 16 nominations to go along with six CMA Awards and 16 ACM awards. She’s the undisputed queen of country with more than 75 million albums sold worldwide.

What inspired McEntire to keep going

Based on her current tour and most recent album, McEntire’s faith in God has had a big influence on her country music career. Her 2022 tour features favorite Christian hymns like My Chains Are Gone. Pop Culture recounts the women who have inspired Reba throughout her career:

“Lots of great women inspired me, starting with my mother. Then there’s Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Barbara Mandrell, Anne Murray, Tammy Wynette — all ladies I looked up to and highly respected and watched. Minnie Pearl is another lady I got to meet, later on, before she passed. I’m just a huge fan, but also an admirer of their strengths and what they gave to society, especially country music. I was closest to Barbara Mandrell.”

Although singing is her first love, McEntire has also been an actress and business owner.

Her movies include Tremors, The Gambler Returns, and The Little Rascals. TV credits range from Reba and Malibu Country to Young Sheldon and Hercules, reports IMDb.  

She has several movie projects in the works in the coming years. She’s also been dating Rex Linn since March 2020, even though they’ve been friends for decades.

If fans have their way, they’ll want Reba to keep performing well into her eighties and ninties. At this rate, with all of her energy and spunk, she just might.

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