Reba McEntire Can ‘Never Forget’ Some of What Narvel Blackstock Did in Their Marriage

Actor and country singer Reba McEntire and her ex, Narvel Blackstock, divorced in 2015 after 26 years of marriage. Eventually, McEntire went on the record to let the public know it wasn’t what she wanted, but she learned to live with it. Still, she said she “can never forget some of what he did.”

Narvel Blackstock in a black jacket and white shirt, with Reba McEntire in a sweater, in 1993
Narvel Blackstock and Reba McEntire | Steve Eichner/Getty Images

Faith helped Reba McEntire through divorce, but she says ‘to forgive is easier than forget’

In a 2016 interview with Parade, McEntire revealed she thought Blackstock was happier following their split. Though she said it was hard to let go, she also eventually forgave him for hurting her. Still, she said she’ll always remember some of what he put her through.

“Over the last two years I’ve been going through a divorce,” she started. “[…] It seems to me that Narvel is happier and I’m in a really good state of mind. It’s taken me this time to pull through why and how.”

“And there’s been a lot between us and I believe that to forgive is easier than forget,” she added. “I can never forget some of what he did. But going on with life is what’s really important. And my faith helped me with that.”

According to McEntire, that faith kept her “sane and hopeful” while she navigated her personal and professional split from Blackstock. Notably, it was her second divorce.

She concluded by saying, “I do want my fans to know that I’m very happy. They worry about me because of the divorce. I’m very happy and I’m glad that Narvel is happy. What more can I ask for?”

Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock married in 1989

On June 3, 1989, McEntire and Blackstock married on Lake Tahoe while she was on a break from filming Tremors. In her book, Reba: My Story, she writes that she wore a “simple white-cotton long-sleeved, summer dress” that day, and was met by unseasonably cool weather.

Blackstock had three children from a previous marriage when they wed and McEntire had two stepchildren from her first marriage. In 1990, they had their only son, Shelby Blackstock. When asked, McEntire often says she has six children, counting all of her stepchildren.

Notably, Blackstock was with McEntire when she learned of the 1991 plane crash that killed most of her band. In fact, he was the person to deliver the news to her and most of the families of those who died.

Reba McEntire didn’t want divorce from Narvel Blackstock

While McEntire has forgiven and not forgotten, she has never denied that her split from Blackstock was his doing.

“The divorce was not my idea. I didn’t want it in any shape, form or fashion,” the “Fancy” singer plainly told CMT in 2016. “So it was really hard to make the adjustment when someone’s not happy. I just want everybody to be happy in their lives, because our lives are too short to be miserable.”

It may not have been what she wanted, but it doesn’t sound like she was necessarily digging in her heels, either.

“I just thought it was the best thing to take my marbles and go play somewhere else, is what daddy used to always say,” she concluded of being asked for a divorce.

Blackstock was also McEntire’s manager for decades, so when the couple split, the singer decided she would take control of managing her own career. And she’s seemingly moved on since then. She’s been dating her “Sugar Tot,” actor Rex Linn, since early 2020 and said the two have even “giggled” about getting married.

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