Reba McEntire and boyfriend Rex Linn started dating in 2020, but the two actually met back in 1991, when they were both cast in Kenny Rogers' November 1991 made-for-television movie, NBC's The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw. McEntire shared that fact during a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, telling host Andy Cohen that after the pair met during the movie, they "kept in contact with each other over the years."
"We both know the same people," she said. When McEntire and Linn first met, McEntire was married to her now-ex-husband Narvel Blackstock, from whom she split in 2015. The singer then dated boyfriend Skeeter Lasuzzo from 2017-2019 and sparked a romance with Linn in January. "So it was just like good friends getting back together having dinner in January, and then we started texting and talking on the telephone, getting to know each other better during the quarantine," McEntire told Cohen.
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McEntire previously shared that she signed on to appear in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw soon after seven of her band members and her tour manager Jim Hammon were killed in a plane crash in March 1991 and credited Rogers' invitation to participate in the movie for helping her healing process.
"Kenny saved my sanity in '91 when he asked me to come do The Gambler movie," she said, via The Boot. "I was still in a state of disbelief and not knowing what I’m gonna do moving forward after the plane crash." The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw was the fourth of five movies based on Rogers' song "The Gambler." In the films, the late star played Brady Hawkes, and McEntire joined as Burgundy Jones. Linn appeared in the 1991 film as a character named Henry.
During a recent appearance on Good Morning America, the Oklahoma native declared that she feels like a "giddy teenager again" thanks to Linn and that her relationship status is having an effect on the songs she's choosing for her next project.
"I'm in love, so that really inspires me to find love songs, to find happy songs," she said. "I've always been the queen of waltzes, the queen of sad songs, because I just gravitate to those kinds of songs."