Reba McEntire Mourns Family Nanny and 'Good Friend'

Reba McEntire is mourning the loss of one of her friends, sharing with fans on Instagram on Tuesday that Cindy Bailey Gillihan had passed away. Gillihan was a nanny who looked after McEntire's son Shelby when he was young, but the singer wrote that she "took care of all of us."

McEntire shared a series of photos of Gillihan with Shelby, McEntire and their family, as well as a few big names, including Vince Gill and Brooks & Dunn. "My good friend, Cindy Bailey Gillihan went to heaven today," McEntire wrote. "Today is her birthday..not only on earth but in heaven. Cindy was Shelby's nanny but took care of all of us. Happy trails to you, Cindy, till we meet again. All my love, Reba."

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McEntire shares Shelby, who is now 30 years old and a professional race car driver, with her ex-husband Narvel Blackstock. Because of his mom's profession, Shelby was around plenty of country stars growing up, including Thomas Rhett's dad Rhett Akins, who attended the family's Halloween party one year.

"Reba's son, Shelby, I think we're about the same age, and we were at their Halloween party one year," Rhett told his record label, recalling one of his early interactions with McEntire. "And I remember us racing back and forth to this barn, and I think I kept beating him in this race. And I think he was a little bit older than me and bigger than me, and he put me up against the wall, you know, around my neck. And I remember Reba comin' over and snatchin' Shelby off of me and puttin' us both in timeout."

"I mean, I had to have been five, maybe five, to be put in timeout," he added. "I hope that I wasn't like, nine or something and I was in timeout."


McEntire is currently preparing to host the CMA Awards on Wednesday night, where she will helm the show alongside Darius Rucker. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

"I'm thrilled to be back hosting the CMA Awards and even more thrilled that I get to share the stage with Darius Rucker," McEntire previously said in a statement. "We're looking forward to a night of celebrating great Country Music and hope you'll tune in and watch!"