Reba McEntire Told Herself to ‘Buckle up, Buttercup’ When Narvel Blackstock Wanted Divorce

Country music icon, Reba McEntire, is an inspiration to millions of her fans. She’s a Grammy-winning singer, a beloved sitcom star, and she’s even been on Broadway. But when McEntire faced a divorce she didn’t want from second husband and manager, Narvel Blackstock, she was also forced to evaluate her career from new perspectives. That’s when she said she had to tell herself to “buckle up, buttercup.”

Reba McEntire in a purple dress, standing with Narvel Blackstock in a black suit
Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock | Denise Truscello/WireImage

Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock married in 1989 and divorced in 2015

In McEntire’s autobiography, Reba: My Story, she candidly details the beginnings of her relationship with Blackstock. He was originally her steel guitar player and they were both married to others. But as their first marriages both came to an end, they found it hard to deny their bond was different.

Still, it was a “growth process” during which they were fans of each other. McEntire mentioned in the book that she and Blackstock weren’t initially thinking about marriage after they started dating. However, she had a “strong urge to have a baby” and they eventually married in a private ceremony on June 3, 1989.

The couple has one son, race car driver, Shelby Blackstock, and Blackstock had three children from his first marriage.

Reba McEntire didn’t want to ‘forge a path’ without Narvel Blackstock before divorce

On McEntire’s Living & Learning with Reba McEntire podcast, she chatted with her Reba co-star, Melissa Peterman, about taking charge of her life. She admitted to Peterman she didn’t want to get divorced from Blackstock after they’d been married for 26 years.

“The divorce was not my choice,” McEntire confessed. “I did not want it at all. So, it was left up to me [to decide], ‘Okay, kid. How you gonna handle this?'”

And more than her personal life was changing. The country queen said the three people who were helping to take care of her company and career left in the divorce, so she had a “buckle up, buttercup” moment. She inevitably gathered herself, put the hurt feelings aside, and moved along.

“So, it was forging a path I didn’t want any part of but I had to do it,” she explained.

Reba McEntire’s production manager and CEO also left

As McEntire mentioned to Peterman during her own podcast, Blackstock wasn’t the only person who left her life around the time of the split. “We got a divorce, and the shocker of it all was, there were four people who were taking care of all my business,” she said on an episode of Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk podcast according to People.

“I had my production manager who left, I had my CEO who left, my manager and husband, and my father had died,” the “Fancy” singer explained. “So, four men who were rock and pillars of my world were gone.”

She felt she had no choice but to take charge and seemingly gained new perspectives. “I started taking over signing the checks and then I started realizing how much water cost, and the electric bill, and all the things that was going on in my life,” she added. “I made the money, I brought it home. So it was a huge, huge change for me.”

And with support from friends, McEntire was able to create a new path for herself. She concluded, “If someone walked up to me and said, ‘Reba, I’m going through a situation like you did — what’s your advice?’ I would say, ‘Go home, regroup, and listen to see what you’re supposed to do next.’ Rally friends around you, good positive friends that have your best interests at heart — which I did — and you will survive.'”

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