Reba McEntire on Personal Tragedies and Heartaches: 'I'm a Survivor'

Reba McEntire has had several career and personal highs over the last several decades. But the country music icon has also had several heartaches along the way, which she says only made her stronger in the long run.

"I've been married twice, divorced twice," McEntire said on CBS This Morning. "I've gone through tragedy in my life, losing my band in '91, my tour manager. Yes, I'm a survivor."

The loss of eight of her band members happened in a plane crash near San Diego, after McEntire performed a private show.

"It was rough," recalled the singer. "It was awful. It was horrible. By far the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life. My family rallied, my friends, fans."

McEntire channeled her grief into her 16th studio album, For My Broken Heart, released less than seven months after the tragic accident.

"The album, For My Broken Heart, saddest album I ever had," McEntire said. "The guys would come in and say, 'Reba, are we going to have any happy songs on this album?' I said, 'Nope. Not this one.'"

Throughout all of the highs and lows of her career, the one constant in her life has been her unwavering faith, which she credits with helping her navigate the hard times.

"Some religions are, you gotta pray three times a day. Well, I knock that out before I get out of bed," McEntire said. "Thank Him for a good night's sleep and a good bed and I love this pillow. Thank You for this house you're letting me live in. Oh my gosh, I love it. I don't preach. I try to live by example. I'm not perfect. I'm a little renegade a lot of times. I love to have a drink of whiskey. But I'm a good person, and I try never to hurt anybody's feelings."

McEntire has had a No. 1 song in each of the last four decades, releasing more than 30 studio albums, including her recent Grammy-winning gospel record, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. But the Grand Ole Opry member, who has also had a successful acting career, still has plenty more she wants to accomplish.

"I think the longevity is 'cause I love it. I'm curious. What more can we do? Now, help. I got lots of help. I've got crew members that have been with me since the middle '80s. I love my team. They're my family. It chokes me up how loyal they are, and I hope they know I'm loyal to them too," she added.


McEntire promises to release a new album in 2019. Find updates at

Photo Credit: Donn Jones for CMA