Reba McEntire earned her first nickel as a singer at the age of five for performing “Jesus Loves Me” in the lobby of a hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“The hard side of the music business isn’t that hard at all, because the hard part is just work. And I’m used to work. That’s okay with me – ‘cause I’ve worked hard and traveled all my life.”
Throughout childhood, Reba McEntire recalls her family would sing together as they traveled from rodeo to rodeo with her father, a champion steer roper. After graduating high school, she attended Southwestern College at Durant and pursued a rodeo career as a barrel racer, which she ended in 1979 to pursue her music career full-time. She would go on to sale more than 35 million records, receive many awards, and become one of the most popular female country singers of all time. She received the Minnie Pearl Award for her outstanding humanitarian and community contributions. In 1996, she directed the Ben Johnson Pro Celebrity Benefit to raise millions for Children’s Medical Research, with her other beneficiaries being Texoma Medical Center and Reba’s Ranch House. She was named Oklahoma’s Goodwill Ambassador for 1986, received the 1994 Country Music Television’s “Johnny Cash Visionary Award,” and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1995 as the first country music artist ever included. She has appeared in several movies and in 2001 her self-titled television sitcom “Reba” anchored the Friday evening line-up on the WB network with 4.7 million viewers. As of 2006, the sitcom was picked up for two more seasons. Also in 2001, she performed a four-month run as Annie Oakley in the Broadway musical, “Annie Get Your Gun.” Her self-named fashion line of clothing debuted in 2005 and in 2006 she performed the role of Nellie in “South Pacific in Concert from Carnegie Hall,” which aired on PBS and performed 28 shows at the Las Vegas Hilton that same summer.