's reigning queen for the better part of two decades, Oklahoman Reba McEntire has done it all. In her career, she has racked up more than thirty #1 hits (out of more than 80 singles overall) - more than any other female country music artist - and had the first multi-platinum album by a female country act. She is known for her twangy voice
, bright red hair
and strong, no-nonsense material. Her accolades include two Grammys (for "Whoever's in New England" and "Does He Love You"), as well as several trophies from the two major country music award associations, the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association. Although her radio hits were fewer and further between in the 2000s, she came back in full force in late 2009-early 2010 with "Consider Me Gone," the biggest hit of her career.
Reba has also dabbled in acting a few times, including a six-season run in the Sitcom Reba
and the role of Annie Oakley in the 2001 musical Annie Get Your Gun
. She also played Heather Gummer, Burt's wife in the first Tremors
. Come 2012, she's starring in another
sitcom, Malibu Country
, with nearly the same premise as her first sitcom.
To cap it all off, Reba was named a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in 2011.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her dress at the 1993 CMA Awards has this; though she's covered to her neck, the top was see-through, giving a faux neckline effect...and that faux neckline was halfway down her belly.
- Advertised Extra: A bizarre inversion came with "Every Other Weekend". The album version had Kenny Chesney as a duet partner, but since her label couldn't reach an agreement with his, the single version had Skip Ewing singing duet vocals. Most stations played the Chesney version anyway, even before it was confirmed as a single. As a result, it was credited to Reba and Kenny for the first few weeks it was on the chart before its release, then to "Reba McEntire with Kenny Chesney or Skip Ewing" for one week, then just Reba for the rest of its chart run.
- American Accents: Her signature Oklahoma twang is one of the most recognizable speaking (and singing) voices in the music industry.
- Bowdlerise: Many radio stations cut Reba's version of "Fancy" short after three verses, probably to avoid having the last verse describe that Fancy "charmed a king and a congressman" and used prostitution to gain wealth and build a Georgia mansion and a New York flat, and finally makes peace with her dead mother after 13 years. Or maybe just because the song's five freaking minutes long with said verse.
- Charity Motivation Song: "What If?", a charity single for the Salvation Army released in late 1997.
- Concept Video: She's famous for these, going all the way back to "Whoever's in New England". The video for "Is There Life Out There" took this to such an extent that CMT almost banned the video because of its length.
- The Cover Changes The Gender: Twice. She changed The Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown" from first to third person (resulting in the story changing to a third party observing the storyline), and Lee Greenwood's "Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands" from third to first. Oddly, even though she was singing "Ring on my finger, time on my hands", she kept the original title on the CD listing and on the charts.
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: Well, in the music video anyway: While Bobbie Gentry's Fancy was an 18-year-old lady sent by her dying mother to a dance where she uses her sexual prowess and the connections she makes to build a better life for herself, thus saving her from the vicious cycle, Reba's "Fancy Rae Baker" is sent off by her dying mother to become a songstress and actress and to use her talents to gain a better life for herself in the video.
- '80s Hair: In the eighties, her hair was frequently bigger than she was.
- The Film of the Song: She starred in a 1994 TV movie on CBS based on her 1992 single "Is There Life Out There".
- First Name Basis: Ever since the 1988 album Reba, she's been credited only by her first name on all of her albums.
- The Fundamentalist: Sharply averted. Oh, she's a Bible-belt conservative and she's not shy about it, but her motto in life appears to be "I don't judge. God loves everyone, and I do too." Which is pretty damn awesome.
- Greatest Hits Album: Several of them, as befits her long and impressive career.
- Heavy Meta: "Turn On the Radio".
- Loudness War: The re-recording of Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You", a duet with Reba, is just ridiculous. The guitars are so loud and compressed, especially on the bridge, where Reba's lead vocal is almost completely buried in the mix.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: In 1995, she covered Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald's "On My Own" with guest vocals from Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Linda Davis.
- Melismatic Vocals: A trademark of her delivery until the mid-1990s; see Vocal Evolution below.
- Murder Ballad: "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia".
- Older than They Look: Well, does she look mid-50s to you?
- The Oldest Profession: She is not an example, but the protagonist of "Fancy"...
- One Mario Limit: To the point that she's listed as just "Reba" on the singles charts and on all of her albums since 1987's Reba.
- Pretty in Mink: She wore a white fox fur wrap for the video "Does He Love You?" and a white mink coat for the cover of her album "Merry Christmas to You".
- Spit Take: Done here in the video for Aaron Tippin's "Honky Tonk Superman" (at 3:45).
- Technology Marches On: "Why Haven't I Heard From You" suffers from this, since a good portion of the song is bragging about the best phone technology 1994 has to offer. The worst is probably the line about how there's one on every corner, since payphones have been quickly disappearing since the rise of cell phones.
- Vocal Evolution: One of her trademarks was her melismatic, vowel-bending, theatrical singing voice. Over time, she's ditched most of the theatrics and now sings in a more straightforward voice (partially because her older style was giving her vocal polyps).
- Unintentional Period Piece: "Why Haven't I Heard From You" goes over all of the then current wonders of the telephone...obviously a land line.
- What Beautiful Eyes: She's got an absolutely stunning pair of wickedly vibrant blue eyes and wields them to often devastating effect.