HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicReba McEntire Remembers Late Bandmates on Anniversary of Deadly 1991 Plane Crash

Reba McEntire Remembers Late Bandmates on Anniversary of Deadly 1991 Plane Crash

by Samantha Whidden
Reba McEntire Remembers Late Bandmates
(Photo By: ABC via Getty Images)

More than three decades after she lost eight bandmates and crew members in a deadly plane crash, country music superstar Reba McEntire honored them in a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. 

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“Remembering my friends we lost 32 years ago today,” McEntire wrote in the caption and used hashtag #LetTheMusicLiftYouUp. She then shared that her bandmates and crew were eight “leading professionals in the music industry.” But more importantly, they were her friends.

“Their love for music and the stage gives us all the strength to go on,” Reba McEntire went on to declare. The tribute also featured a clip of the bandmates performing together. 

Taste of Country reports that Reba McEntire’s bandmates were traveling from San Diego to Indiana when the plane’s tip of the wing hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain. McEntire along with her former husband Narvel Blackstock and her stylist wasn’t on the plane due to her being sick with bronchitis.

The bandmates killed were Kirk Cappello, Michael Thomas, Tony Saputo, Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Joey Cigainero, and Chris Austin. Tour manager Jim Hammon also perished in the crash.

Reba McEntire Admitted She Wasn’t Sure If She Could Continue Her Music Career Following the 1991 Deadly Plane Crash

In October 2022, Reba McEntire opened up about the 1991 plane crash and admitted she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to continue her music career after the accident. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to continue,” McEntire told PEOPLE. “But it showed me how precious life is, and by the grace of God and my faith, I realized that they went to a better place.”

McEntire also said that she “never blamed God” for the horrific accident. However, she does have some questions for the man upstairs when she gets up to Heaven. “From that, I learned that you need to take it one day at a time,” she went on to say. “And be very grateful for the things that you have. Tell folks in your life how much you love and appreciate them.”

Eight months after the plane crash, Reba McEntire released her album For My Broken Heart, which was dedicated to the eight bandmates she lost. The album notably remains McEntire’s highest-selling album to date.

The country music hitmaker then said that appearing in The Gambler Returns with her late friend, Kenny Rogers, after the plane crash helped save her sanity. She also met her now-boyfriend, Rex Linn, on the same set and became friends with him. However, they didn’t get together until January 2020, nearly five years after she ended her 26-year marriage to Blackstock.