Reba McEntire Speaks Out About How Pandemic & Her Mother’s Death Sent Her Life Into a ‘Tailspin’

by Blake Ells

The past two years were as difficult for Reba McEntire as they were for anyone navigating the pandemic. She was already caring for her ailing mother, then the world shut down. She lost her mother to bladder cancer at 93 years old amid the pandemic.

“I was in Oklahoma helping my brothers and sisters take care of Momma flying back and forth to Nashville rehearsals,” she told USA Today. “She passed in the middle of March and I went back home for the funeral. That’s when COVID broke out. We didn’t even get to have a funeral.”

Two years later, Reba McEntire has an additional run of tour dates and is working on season three of ABC’s Big Sky.

“You talk about a tailspin?” she said. “Everybody was like, ‘What’s going on? What’s COVID? And here we are, two years later, getting to do a show that everybody was really excited about. It was better than any of us could’ve imagined.”

TV for Reba McEntire

In addition to Big Sky, Reba McEntire is set for a Lifetime movie called The Hammer. She’ll reunite with her former former Reba co-star Melissa Peterman for the film. She’ll also get a chance to work with her new partner, Rex Linn. McEntire and Linn began dating in March 2020, around the time her mother died and the pandemic hit. Working with him is something that she’s wanted to do for a long time.

The film is Reba’s second at Lifetime. She was also in 2021’s Christmas in Tune. Linn is best known for his work in CSI: Miami. More recently, he has also appeared in several episodes of Young Sheldon and Better Call Saul.

Reba McEntire’s career is legendary. She’s had a top ten hit on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in five consecutive decades. The only country artists she shares that distinction with are George Jones, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. She was asked what has gotten her to that point.

“Great songs, hard work, curiosity, wanting to do it,” she said. “I’m very competitive. I always have been. Everybody knows that I want to have fun doing what I’m doing. I want to do work that’s fun.”

Back on the Road

Reba McEntire wrapped an arena tour earlier this year. But she’s decided to add a second leg this fall. She’ll bring her old friend Terri Clark out for support. The tour kicks off at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. on October 13. It continues until November 19 where it’ll wrap at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan. There’s a date at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday, October 21. Check out all of the dates on Reba’s fall tour and get ticket information at her website.