Music / Reba McEntire

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Country Music'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 successful 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.


Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Album Title Drop: Despite having a title track, Love Somebody also has "Sometimes you don't love somebody until they don't love you" in "Until They Don't Love You".
  • Amicable Exes: The protagonists in "Every Other Weekend." Probably because they're still in love with each other and regret their divorce.
  • Answer Song: "Whoever's in New England" was a response to Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England."
  • 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. Some stations, however, note the full-length version's running time (4:59) and, to fit it within an already tightly-formatted program, defer to the radio edit.
  • 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:
    • "Cathy's Clown." The Everly Brothers original had third-party observers literally snicker at the "clown" every time Cathy approached him to play him for a fool. In Reba's cover, the protagonist is a sympathetic observer who wants to show him true love.
    • "Ring On My Finger, Time On My Hands." Lee Greenwood's version is from a male perspective, admitting he had neglected his wife and admitting that her turning to another man was understandable. Reba's version takes it up another notch and virtually calls the husband cold and distant when he is home.
    • Also changes the meaning in the video for "Because of You," which she sang with Kelly Clarkson. The original Kelly Clarkson video is about parental neglect, while the Reba cover is about domestic violence.
  • Distant Duet: With Vince Gill for "The Heart Won't Lie," with Brooks & Dunn for "If You See Him/If You See Her," and with Kenny Chesney for "Every Other Weekend."
    • Averted for "Does He Love You" with Linda Davis, and for "Because of You" with Kelly Clarkson.
  • '80s Hair: In the eighties, her hair was frequently bigger than she was.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In this segment on Nashville Now, K.T. Oslin tells Reba that they're going to talk and to "hustle your shapely fanny back over here" to to her desk so they can get to it. K.T. then tells the audience to stay tuned because they "won't want to miss this".
  • 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".
  • Longing Look: "The Heart Won't Lie," a duet with Vince Gill, is pretty much this trope in song form.
  • Loudness War: The re-recording of Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You", a duet with Reba, is just ridiculous. The guitars and strings are so loud and compressed, especially on the bridge, where Reba's lead vocal is almost completely buried in the mix. It almost sounds like a Rascal Flatts outtake.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Little Rock" is a bouncy, upbeat little song about leaving your neglectful husband and asking for a divorce.
  • 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 like she's in her early 60s 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".
  • Sequel Song: The video for "Love Needs a Holiday" features the couple from "Somebody."
  • Special Guest: She's done this on both of her Reba costar Melissa Peterman's sitcoms after Reba ended, in Working Class and Baby Mama.
  • Spit Take: Done here in the video for Aaron Tippin's "Honky Tonk Superman" (at 3:45).
  • Teen Pregnancy: Implied in the video for "Is There Life Out There", when her character Maggie's daughter spills coffee on her schoolwork. The daughter apologizes that it was an accident, to which Maggie replies that "I don't need any more accidents in my life!" Maggie's husband then steps in to call her out on this, and a horrified Maggie breaks down when she realizes what she said.
    • Invoked for the video of "You're Gonna Be."
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" pulls off a rather unusual one, going from C Dorian on the verses to G major on the chorus. The second verse also contains a single line ("Well the Georgia patrol was makin' their rounds…") that goes up to G before returning.
  • 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).
  • Your Cheating Heart: Several of her songs deal with cheating, particularly in the late 80's and early 90's. "Whoever's in New England" and "Does He Love You" are probably the most famous, but also "It's Your Call," "Rumor Has It," and "Take It Back" all deal with unfaithful partners.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: She's got an absolutely stunning pair of wickedly vibrant blue eyes and wields them to often devastating effect.


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