On This Day: Reba McEntire Claims Her First Entertainer of the Year Victory at 1995 ACMs

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Twenty-six years ago, country music icon Reba McEntire landed her first Entertainer of the Year award at the 1995 ACMs.

And it was about time! Before finally landing her first Entertainer of the Year win that night, Reba had been nominated for the award eight times. Reba is one of only seven women in ACM Awards history to win Entertainer of the Year. And for her 1995 win, Reba beat out Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks.

During her speech, Reba McEntire thanked her music industry family as well as her real-life family in Oklahoma. As an Oklahoma native, Reba referred to herself as an “Okie.”

“I have to say thank you very much to my fans because I want to. I love you to pieces,” said Reba. “And I want to say thank you to my starstruck family for being there for me at all times. And for my other family who is in Oklahoma… I love you all with all my heart.”

Later during the ceremony, Reba McEntire performed one of her hit songs. Her performance was so flawless you’d have no idea she almost had a major wardrobe malfunction while singing. During an interview in 2019, Reba revealed that she had a bit of a dress mishap.

“I regret any outfit that was uncomfortable and hard to get around in,” said Reba. “I had to walk down a platform, and the hem of [my] skirt got hung on something, so I stopped there like it was a planned thing and sang my song!”

Reba McEntire accepts her Entertainer of the Year award at the 1995 ACMs.

1995 Was a Great Year For Reba McEntire

Not only did Reba McEntire win the Entertainer of the Year Award in 1995, but she also released a chart-topping album. “Starting Over,” is Reba’s 21st studio album. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard country albums chart and at number five on the Billboard 200. It stayed at number one for two consecutive weeks and remained in the top ten for 19 weeks. Additionally, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA three months after its release.

For the first single from the album, “On My Own,” Reba recruited Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Linda Davis to join her for the song. The album was so popular, CBS produced a television special titled “Reba: Celebrating 20 Years. The special featured Reba McEntire performing songs from the album in concert, edited with footage of Reba visiting her family in Oklahoma.

In conclusion, Reba McEntire was still dropping hit albums and accepting major awards 20 years after her debut single. And today, 45 years after her releasing her very first single, Reba is still furthering her legacy as a country music legend.