Reba McEntire reflects on tragic day 32 years ago when she lost band in devastating plane crash

Having achieved her breakthrough in country music during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Reba McEntire’s remarkable talent led her to be named the “best singer” by the Country Music Association for four consecutive years. Additionally, she has rightfully earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

However, despite her incredible career and numerous accomplishments, Reba has faced her own share of personal tragedies, demonstrating that life has not always been easy for her.

In 2022, Reba experienced the heartbreaking loss of her mother Jacqueline, who fought a courageous battle against cancer. Jacqueline passed away at the age of 93, leaving a void in Reba’s life.

”She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely ready to go. The cancer might think it won the battle but we’re giving God all the credit on selecting the time for her to go home to Him,” the country star wrote on social media.

Jacqueline McEntire harbored a lifelong dream of becoming a professional country singer, and it was under her guidance that Reba learned to sing, ultimately fulfilling her mother’s aspirations through her own successful career.

“She left knowing how much she is loved and we all know how much she loved us. We’re all going to miss her but we have so many wonderful memories,” Reba said.

Reba has firsthand experience with the challenges of grief and loss.

32 years ago, on March 16, Reba faced an immense tragedy as she lost seven members of her band and her tour manager in a devastating plane crash that occurred after a concert.

Following their performance in San Diego on March 16, 1991, Reba and her band were scheduled to travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., for their next concert on the tour.

At the airport in San Diego, two planes were prepared for departure. The band members and tour manager boarded one plane, while Reba, accompanied by her husband and manager, decided to stay overnight in San Diego.

Unfortunately, the first aircraft encountered a devastating accident merely ten miles east of the airport.

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Throughout the years, Reba has consistently honored and paid tribute to her dear friends who were tragically lost.

During a heartfelt interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012, Reba opened up about the profound impact of the day when her band passed away.

“The tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane,” McEntire told Winfrey.

“When we were notified, Narvel (Reba’s manager) went and met with our pilot, and he told us what had happened. And Narvel came back to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three o’clock in the morning — and he said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they OK?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘But you’re not sure?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’”

As Reba recounted the details of the tragedy, tears welled up in her eyes, reflecting the deep emotions associated with the heartbreaking event.

Now, 32 years have elapsed since the tragic crash. Recently, she took to Instagram and shared a photo of her band, reminiscing about the fateful events of that day.

In 2020, she posted yet another heartfelt tribute to her friends. ““29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash. The timing of Mama’s passing with that anniversary seems appropriate,” she wrote, reflecting on the intertwined memories of loss.

7-year-old fights for life after tragic collision with a truck while chasing ball into the road

In response to Reba’s emotional message, her devoted fans swiftly rallied to show their unwavering support for the beloved country star.

Numerous individuals sent an outpouring of positive thoughts and prayers. One fan wrote, “Reba I’ve always loved your music, our shared horse background, and now following you on Insta. Prayers for you and your mother 🙏🏻.” 

In 2023, Reba reaffirmed her enduring remembrance and ongoing grief for her friends, emphasizing that their passion for music and the stage continues to inspire and empower her.

In a touching tribute, Reba wrote, “Their love for music and the stage gives us all the strength to go on,” as she shared a heartfelt video featuring the group’s captivating performances.

Reba, I am truly sorry for your pain. Stay strong, for you are an incredible woman. It’s evident that God has a purpose for keeping you here on earth, as you bring joy to countless people. Keep that beautiful smile shining!

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