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In early 2001, country music legend Reba McEntire took Broadway by storm, receiving rave reviews and playing to packed houses as backwoods sharp-shooter Annie Oakley in the hit revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Later that year, McEntire took her talents to the small screen and made her television series debut as a Texas soccer mom in the acclaimed WB comedy, Reba. Raised on a cattle ranch just outside of Chockie, Oklahoma (population: 18), McEntire traveled the rodeo circuit during her youth with her champion steer-roper father. She competed on horseback as a barrel racer. Along with her siblings, McEntire was taught to sing by her mother and formed the vocal trio The Singing McEntires, performing at social events and dance halls. After graduating from high school, she studied violin and piano at Southeastern Oklahoma State University while majoring in elementary education. Her life changed dramatically when a songwriter named Red Steagall heard her sing the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo and convinced her to make a demo recording in Nashville. She was soon signed to a record contract and her star took off from there. Over the course of her 25+ year career, McEntire has established herself as country music's leading lady, rising to become the best-selling female country singer of the 20th century with more than 48 million records sold. She is an unprecedented four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and one of only five women to win the CMA's coveted Entertainer of the Year honor. She has won two Grammy Awards, multiple People's Choice and American Music Awards, and released a string of chart-topping hits. In November of 2003, McEntire released her first new studio album in four years. "Room to Breathe" is a classic yet contemporary collection of heartbreaking ballads and unstoppable up-tempo tunes. The CD produced two smash country radio hits, "I'm Gonna Take that Mountain" and the Billboard chart-topping "Somebody." McEntire now reigns as the female country artist with the longest span of #1 hits. In the summer of 2004, McEntire hit the road to support the album, touring in concert for the first time since signing on for the sitcom. She played to thousands of people throughout the summer and drew The Today Show's largest crowd of the spring for her concert on the plaza.
McEntire has found success as an actress as well. She made a memorable feature debut in the 1990 cult classic Kevin Bacon horror film Tremors as a gun-toting survivalist. She also appeared on the big screen in the dark romantic comedy One Night at McCool's, as well as North and The Little Rascals. On television, she played Annie Oakley in the miniseries Buffalo Girls and has appeared in the original movies The Gambler IV with Kenny Rogers, Secret of Giving, Forever Love and Is There Life Out There? The hardest-working woman in show business, McEntire is also a successful author.Following her 1995 New York Times Best Seller List autobiography "Reba: My Story," she published "Comfort from a Country Quilt: Find New Inspiration and Strength from Old-Fashioned Values," a collection of personal essays. Her written works have sold a combined total of over 1 million copies.
McEntire was born on March 28, 1955, in Mcalester, Oklahoma. Her full name is Reba Nell McEntire Blackstock. She grew up on a ranch in Chockie, Oklahoma. Reba got her break singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in 1974, in Oklahoma City. Since then she has become "Number One Best Selling Female Artist" ever.
She has won many awards, too many to list here. Reba was honored with the title of "Female Country Artist of the Century" in November 1999. Reba does a lot of "Humanitarian Work" and also has acted in various movies. She currently has her own television show on WB called "Reba" It's a comedy about a divorced woman raising her kids.
The Texoma Medical Center in Denison, Texas is the home for The Reba McEntire Rehabilitation Center, Reba's Ranch House, and The TMC Reba Mobile Mammography Unit.
Reba McEntire Quotes:
For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.
When onstage, I always try to take my audience through as many emotions as I possibly can. I want them to go from laughter to tears, be shocked and surprised and walk out the door with a renewed sense of themselves - and maybe a smile.
Reba McEntire Debuts Clothing Line
Country music star Reba McEntire has partnered with a department store to create her own clothing line for women.
The collection will debut this month at Dillard's stores nationwide, and McEntire gave an early look at her collection on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
The 'Reba' collection includes career wear, casual wear, novelty wear, sportswear and knit separates in sizes 4-14. They range in price from $48 to $289.
"I came up in the school of hand-me-downs, so I had no expertise whatsoever in being a fashion designer," McEntire said. "When you feel comfortable in your clothes, you can face the day."
Icon Creations, a New York-based design firm, worked with McEntire on the design process.
McEntire is the best-selling female country singer with 48 million records sold. She is also a TV, movie and Broadway actress, and an author.
'Reba' Says Hello, Dolly
Reba McEntire will be joined on her sitcom by another country-music star later this season when Dolly Parton guest-stars on an episode.
The episode, which tapes in mid-February, will be a rare sitcom appearance for Parton; her last such guest spot was on an episode of CBS's short-lived "Bette" in October 2000. She's also appeared on "Designing Women" and starred in a couple of pilots that never made it to the air.
In the "Reba" episode, which doesn't have an airdate yet, she'll be playing a successful real-estate broker who crosses paths with Reba, who's entering the business herself. The part was crafted with Parton in mind.
"I have respected Dolly, both professionally and personally, for my entire career," McEntire says. "Having her on our show and playing opposite her will be the thrill of a lifetime."
Parton earned an Oscar nomination in 1981 for her song "Nine to Five" from the movie of the same title, in which she also starred. She's won seven Grammys in her career, most recently in 2001 for best female country vocal performance.
Her other acting credits include "Steel Magnolias" and "Straight Talk."
Reba McEntire is the greatest coutry mucisian of all time
Reba McEntire began working life as a novice rodeo rider, but through hard work and talent became a great country singer.
Reba McEntire was born in Oklahoma in 1955, into a family of rodeo riders. Her father, brother and grandfather were all award winning rodeo stars. Indeed, it was her father who taught her and the rest of his offspring how to ride rodeo style. Reba’s mother on the other hand, taught the children how to sing, and soon it was quite obvious that Reba had a special talent in country music. In fact, she began singing at Rodeo shows at the tender age of three, and through her childhood also sang at churches and festivals.
It was at a rodeo show in 1974 that Reba McEntire was first discovered by anybody of any standing in the music business. She was singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, and honky tonk singer Rod Steagall was in the audience. She was soon recruited and had her first chart success as a country singer in 1976 with ‘I Don’t Want To Be A One Night Stand’. After several more hits she eventually reached number one in 1982 with ‘I Can’t Even Get The Blues’.
The 1980’s proved to be some of Reba McEntire’s most successful years. She achieved many number ones when she was one of very few female artists in a male dominated country music scene. Many believe her success as a country singer are partly due to her origins from a poor family that had to work extremely hard for everything they got, and her eagerness to strive for the best. Perhaps most importantly was Reba’s ability to sing with incredible emotion, thereby conveying the message of a song powerfully, made her a top country singer.
She was not without her problems in these glory years. She was divorced in 1987, but happily remarried in 1989 to her bandleader. Tragedy struck in 1991, when seven of her nine band members were killed in a plane crash.
Reba McEntire has shown her strength of character in getting over such a tragic event, and as ever she went from strength to strength. The late nineties saw her undertaking the highest grossing tour in the history of country music with Brooks and Dunn. She has been on many world tours, and in 1998 a tour of Australia proved to be extremely popular. From the humble beginnings of a rodeo rider, Reba McEntire became one of the greatest country musicians of all time.
Reba's best song collection
Reba McEntire never wanted to take four years between albums. But along the way she encountered a couple of diversions - including garnering commanding reviews for her starring role in the hit Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun and launching her successful new TV series, Reba.
As much as she missed recording and singing, her absence allowed her a chance to recharge her musical batteries. Now she's ready to return to her first love with a renewed perspective and a stronger-than-ever commitment. In doing so, she's turned Room To Breathe into a celebration of the sum of her strengths, creating a stunningly emotional, wide-ranging album that underscores why she's the most remarkable and accomplished female country singer of her generation.
"I'm proud of all the music I've recorded and not to sound egotistical " Reba remarks, "but I think this is the best collection of songs that I've ever had on one album."
While she worried about staying away so long - this is also the first time she's ever gone more than two years without staging a concert tour - she figures that the break allowed her a chance to re-evaluate what she loves about singing country music. Like the title song says, it gave her room to breathe. Now, having exhaled, she savored the chance to record again, and she did so with more vigor and resolve than ever.
"There's something about having been away from the routine of the music business that ended up being refreshing to me,” she says with her typical aplomb. “By getting away from it for a little while, it all feels fresh and new again. It's got a crisp feeling to it. It's just felt so wonderful to get back to music again.”
It shows. Room To Breathe soars with exuberance and sighs with heartbreaking subtlety, showing the full range of Reba's remarkable powers. The album shows off the traits that transformed the redhead from tiny Chockie, Oklahoma, into the most important and influential female country singer of her generation.
“I started with this CD the same way I did with all the others, I just tried to find the best songs I could,” she explains. “But I wasn't going to be persuaded by anything other than one question: Does this song touch my heart? Even if someone else thought a certain song would be a hit, I wasn't going to record it if it didn't flat out move me to the core. I didn't want to pay attention to trends and politics. I just wanted to pay attention to what I felt inside.”
Of course, moving listeners is what Reba does as well as anyone alive. It's why she became the first country female artist to sell five million albums on one album since Patsy Cline. It's why she's now sold more than 48 million albums in her career. That's why stars like Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood cite Reba McEntire as a prime influence.
That influence has manifested itself in many ways. As a role model, she's shown others how to handle fame with grace and good humor while never backing down from her values or goals. Just as importantly, she's shown others to refuse to accept limitations on what she can do or how much she can achieve.
“Whatever I'm doing, I feel like I'm representing country music,” Reba says. “It's always been my main career, and it's where my loyalties lie. I feel like I'm waving the flag of country music wherever I go, and I couldn't be prouder to do it.”
Room To Breathe confirms Reba's dedication to Nashville and the music that launched her one-of-a-kind career. To continue her fresh break, she collaborated with veteran producers Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson, the latter of whom worked with Reba on her first album for MCA Records in 1984.
“They're a great team. They're both such good song guys, and that's what this album is about for me - the songs,” she says. “I always wanted to work with Norro again, and I've always been a fan of Buddy's work. They're laid-back, fun to work with, and true professionals, I couldn't ask for more.”
For the up tempo songs, Reba wanted a contemporary sound that drew on traditional sounds like bluegrass, hardcore country and gospel. Her first single, “I'm Gonna Take That Mountain,” features banjo, fiddle and dobro in a brisk, modern setting that allows Reba to show off her powerful voice and her equally powerful spirit. A song about conquering new peaks, it fits with Reba's recent accomplishments as well as her career-long attraction to songs that address women who go after what they want in life.
Two other songs - the romping “Love Revival” and the stirring “Sky Full of Angels” - both bring a sense of spiritual strength to Reba's repertoire. “I love those songs because they make you feel so good when you sing them and they are so right for our times,” she says. “They have a message that I think is really important. I'm so glad that patriotism and spiritualism are coming back to country music. It's more rooted and grounded in the values of home and family. We need that.”
Of course, Reba's always tapped into the tender aspects of human relationships with particular sensitivity. Room To Breathe presents several exceptional songs about life's complexities, including the title song, which finds a woman gently asking her lover for space to find herself. She doesn't want to lose him, but she also wants “to make sure I don't lose me.”
Similarly, “Learned To Be Lonely,” “He Gets That From You” and “It Just Has To Be That Way” (the latter an exquisitely performed duet with Vince Gill) all find Reba breathing life and depth into individuals caught in moments of painful reflection and transition. Reba gives the lead character of each song a flesh-and-blood dignity that underscores why she attracts so many fans both within the country music faithful and from those who may not have considered themselves country fans in the past.
Other songs celebrate the special bonds of family. “My Sister” honors the unique ties of female siblings with a kind of knowing detail that's personal yet universal. “My older sister Alice was in Nashville as we were recording that song,” Reba recalls. “She came with us to the studio as we were putting harmonies on it, and when she heard the lyrics, oh she just cried. She loved it. We're very close.”
“Moving Oleta” deals with a more difficult reality - that of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Reba's tackled sensitive subjects like this before, and once again she creates an unforgettable performance that will bring tears in a way that encourages healing and discussion.
“Alzheimer's has touched everybody's life in some way. 'If you don't have someone in your family or someone close to you who has Alzheimer's, you're in a minority.' As soon as I heard that song, I knew it had to be on the album.”
It's exactly those kinds of songs that have made Reba a household name. Like Oprah, another down-home woman whose compassion and talent turned her into the most approachable of entertainment idols, Reba has a way of raising issues and representing the dreams, desires and concerns that link people of all cultures and backgrounds.
It's that quality that has allowed Reba to branch out beyond any one medium. Whatever venue she tackles, she brings the same strong sense of herself and the same ability to engage people with her personality and talent.
Her move to Broadway obviously presented an enormous challenge - she'd never performed in a play, yet she leapt right into the starring role of one of the most successful and demanding shows on Broadway. She earned rave reviews across-the-board, winning over critics and audiences alike.
The famous celebrity columnist Liz Smith crowned her “the Queen of Broadway,” and USA Today suggested “you'd swear Irving Berlin wrote it just for her.” New York Times critic Ben Brantley became one of her biggest champions throughout the run, at one point describing Reba as “a nonchalant showoff, making a highly polished performance seem so easy that you wonder why we aren't all Broadway stars.”
Reba brought the same naturalness to her leading role in the hit WB Network sitcom that bears her name. “I think the Reba character is a lot like me,” she says. “The writers have gotten to know me, so they make her more like me all the time. We have spiritual people writing and working on this show. People with good hearts who want to set good examples like putting a lot of moral values into the character...the kind that Mama and Daddy taught me. That's what makes the show so special and fun for me.”
Meanwhile, Reba looks forward to taking her new music to the concert stage. “In 25 years, this is the longest break I've taken from live performing,” she says. “I needed a break, to be honest. But now I'm ready. The fans always make it really special, and I miss it.”
That word - heart - keeps coming up as Reba talks about her music these days. For someone who's accomplished so much, who's reached so far beyond her wildest dreams, everything still comes back to the same quality that initially drew her to music and to performance in the first place. Reba McEntire has succeeded so well because she knows what's important: sharing her heart, and touching other people's hearts.
Art of being Reba McEntire
Show Time:"I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing this show. I've been looking for a [television] project for a long time but nothing felt right until we found this. I really like the idea of playing the backbone of a family that's completely dysfunctional. There's a lot of humor in this, but there's a lot of honesty too, which is really important to me."
Momma Dearest:"Out of all the people in the world, my Momma is the one who gives me the best advice. She always used to say: 'Reba, you have got to treat people like you want to be treated.' Oh, and she also told me not to lie. Being honest was number one on her list."
True Confessions:"I've always been the kind of person who jumps into love blindly. I think we all do that. So when I would fall in love all of the advice in the world couldn't help me. It just went right out the window."
What I like about Reba: "I think I was better in the second season than the first because I was more relaxed. I like this character very much. She is a strong woman. She is very protective of her family but she makes a lot of boo boos. She doesn't like to admit this, which gets her into some very funny situations. I'm a big fan of funny."
Dear Diary: "I made a New Year resolution a couple of years ago to videotape a portion of every day. And, well, that lasted until about the middle of January. Then, I decided I was going to write everyday. I would write about something that happened to me, something interesting. That lasted about a week. Nowadays, my appointment book is about as close to a diary as I can get."
Happy meals: "We're into having big family dinners. When we are in Nashville we have lots of big gatherings with our kids and grandkids. However, the best thing I am famous for in the kitchen is making reservations. So, they will usually come over to the house if I am not cooking! I have been known to make a very good bean soup though."
There's nothing as pleasant as spending time with ''Reba''
Country superstar Reba McEntire makes her first foray into series television in this edgy comedy that takes aim at the all-American family with a spirited Southern look at suburban dysfunction.
The Hart family is in the midst of a divorce as Texas soccer mom Reba (McEntire) watches her white-picket-fenced world collapse before her very eyes. Her dentist husband, Brock (Christopher Rich, "Murphy Brown"), is leaving her after what she thought was 20 happy years of marriage for his impossibly perky and unfortunately pregnant dental hygienist, Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman, "Fargo").
The cherry on top of this bitter sundae is that Reba's 17-year-old daughter Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia, "Freaks and Geeks," "Party of 5," "American Pie 2") is pregnant by her boyfriend, the high school's dim-bulb football star, Van (newcomer Steve Howey). Rounding out the happy brood is 12-year-old Kyra (Scarlett Pomers, "Star Trek: Voyager"), who is greeting puberty with venom, and 9-year-old Jake (Mitch Holleman, "Daddio"), whose biggest concern is whether his best friend can sleep over.
Determined to take some semblance of control back in her upside-down-turned life, Reba makes a deft shift to "Plan B." She plots a new course, taking in her new son-in-law Van to live with Cheyenne and their impending child and trying to keep the husband-stealing future stepmother of her children at arm's length. So much for the Junior League.
They certainly aren't candidates for a Rockwell portrait, but the Harts muddle through their domestic morass the only way they know how - with brutal honesty and bare-knuckled poise.
Houston, Texas native Allison M. Gibson ("Home Improvement," "Boy Meets World") created the series. Gibson serves as executive producer with Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel ("Titus") for Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Reba Mcentire's book ''Comfort From a Country Quilt''
Whether you read it for instant warmth or lasting inspiration, Comfort From a Country Quilt is a book that will touch your life and make your spirits soar like the sweet high notes of a Reba McEntire song.
In a dazzling career that spans more than two decades, Reba McEntire has established herself as one of the hardest-working and most successful entertainers of our time. She is a country music superstar who has sold more than 40 million records, one of the highest-grossing concert performers of the decade, and a trailblazing businesswoman who established her own multimedia entertainment corporation.
Yet Reba has still managed to become one of the rare celebrities who is also beloved by her millions of fans for the way she lives her life, for successfully balancing the demands of career and family, for competing in show business without sacrificing her values, and for managing to "keep in country" while keeping up with the times. She has done so, in a large part, by drawing wisdom and strength from the precious traditions of her country past, finding inspiring new relevance in old-fashioned values.
Now, in a deeply personal, "back-porch conversation" of a book, Reba shares a generous helping of her life experiences. "I hope some of the things I've gone through can make it just a little easier for the next person, because life is supposed to be about making the path a little gentler for the people traveling behind you."
Reba writes about the roles a modern country woman tries to fulfill, roles as many and varied as the fabric pieces of an heirloom quilt. Facing the challenges of being a wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, sister, performer, executive, community member, and Christian, Reba shows how she has coped by carrying forward lessons and a guiding spirit from her roots as a ranch girl growing up in Chockie, Oklahoma, as well as from the powerful heritage of classic country music. Rather than proving quaint and stale, Reba demonstrates again and again the ways that you can make traditional values remain fresh and vital in your search for a fulfilling life today.
Comfort From a Country Quilt is a book of wisdom and encouragement and a celebration of what is true and lasting in our lives, a gift for yourself and for those you love to cherish.
Reba grows empire with sportswear line
"Annie Get Your Gun" is now packing designer clothing instead of heat. Reba McEntire — the country singer, author, Broadway and sitcom star — is teaming up with Dillard's to launch a new women's sportswear collection this March.
Dillard's is touting the line, called Reba, as "affordable luxury," with mix-and-match pieces ranging from $48 to $289. It is the first celebrity clothing line for Dillard's Inc., a Little Rock, Ark.-based retail giant with 329 stores nationwide and annual revenues of more than $7.8 billion.
McEntire, who at 49 has sold more than 48 million records, says she was thrilled to be "fully involved in the design process" — especially since she grew up wearing secondhand clothes.
She is working directly with Icon Creations, a New York City-based fashion design firm. "My fashion background comes from the design school of hard knocks," McEntire said.
"Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs, and I enjoyed making those clothes mine. I did not go to design school, but from 28 years in the professional world, I have come to know a lot about fashion, and creating my own style," she added.
Clothes, McEntire says, "play a huge role in how I feel. Looking great gives me confidence for whatever I'm doing, whether it's going on stage, to a meeting, or out with my family."
New designs will be in stores on a biweekly basis after the line's March debut. The line looks like it would fit in well with the Texas-based soccer mom McEntire plays in her successful WB sitcom, "Reba."