Reba McEntire Recalled 1 of the Sweetest Things Her ‘Strict’ Father Ever Said About Her

Country queen Reba McEntire has been a singing and acting megastar for decades. And she credits her close bonds with each of her late parents with getting her to where she is today. When asked what’s helped her most in the journey to country superstardom, she recalled her “little spitfire” of a mother and one of the sweetest things her “strict disciplinarian” of a father said to her.

Reba McEntire in a red sleeveless dress, standing with her hands interlocked in front of her
Reba McEntire | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Reba McEntire’s mother was a ‘little spitfire’

In a 2018 interview with the Saturday Evening Post, McEntire credited her parents with helping her to set high standards for herself and keep fame from going to her head.

First off, McEntire’s “mama [was] a little spitfire,” she said. “There are about 50 things that I can hear her saying in my mind, but the number one thing is, ‘I love you gobs and gobs.’”

Her mother, Jacqueline, was a teacher and mother of four. When she was young, she gave up her own dreams of one day becoming a country star. So, she strongly encouraged her daughter to follow her heart to Nashville when she almost became too anxious about leaving home.

On the other hand, “Daddy was the strict disciplinarian, a hard-working man with little patience,” McEntire said.

Notably, McEntire’s father, Clark, was a champion steer roper. As such, he seemingly took his cattle ranching and rodeo work very seriously. And it paid off with a 1988 induction into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, per the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Reba McEntire’s father’s stomach ‘went to pumpkin’ when he heard her on the radio

Though McEntire describes her father as stern, he seemed to have a soft spot for his famous daughter. And he explained it to her in an adorable way.

“One of the sweetest things he ever said about me was, ‘Reba, when I hear people talking about you or when I hear your voice on the radio, my stomach just goes to pumpkin,’” she told the Saturday Evening Post.

And since the elder McEntire was also a hard-working individual, he appreciated that quality in his daughter. She said another of the sweetest things he ever said to her was, “Reba, you sure do work hard.”

“From Daddy, that was a huge compliment,” she explained. And she said such remarks from her loving parents are part of what helped her stay grounded despite massive success and fame.  

Reba McEntire’s father taught her how to be competitive

One thing McEntire frequently points out in interviews is her spirited drive to win, which she says she got from her competitive father. It’s also something she feels has helped her on her path to fame.

“I’m the first to admit, I’m very competitive,” she explained to the Saturday Evening Post. But she also mentioned something that’s arguably just as important as winning, and that’s knowing how to lose with a little grace.

“I love to play games, and I love to win,” she said, “but when I lose, I’m the first one to start clapping and say, ‘Congratulations, now let’s do it again, because I’m going to whip your butt.”

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