HomeEntertainmentMusicReba McEntire Covered Patsy Cline in Performance Prior to Band’s Fatal Plane Crash in 1991

Reba McEntire Covered Patsy Cline in Performance Prior to Band’s Fatal Plane Crash in 1991

by Atlanta Northcutt
(Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Reba McEntire is one of the most iconic female country singers and is talented enough to branch out to have her own TV show. The touching lyrics and music that the star creates may come from her personal experience with pain, especially after losing her band members and friends in a 1991 plane crash.

On March 16, 1991, the female powerhouse, Reba McEntire, suffered a heartbreaking loss after seven members of her band and her tour manager were killed in a plane crash. On March 15, McEntire and her band had just finished a private performance for IBM executives in California. During the intimate show, the country music star gave a beautiful rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.”

Reba McEntire’s Last Performance With Her Band

The performance was heart-stopping and filled with powerful talent, providing listeners with a once-in-a-lifetime entertainment experience. However, no one could’ve expected that the following day a life-changing loss would change everything.

The 1991 show would be the last time that Reba McEntire, her band members, and tour manager would be together due to a tragic plane crash that took the lives of band members, guitarist Michael Thomas, guitarist Chris Austin, bassist Terry Jackson, bandleader Kirk Cappello, drummer Tony Saputo, keyboard player Joey Cigainero, and backup singer Paula Kaye Evans. McEntire’s tour manager Jim Hammon also lost his life in the disastrous wreck.

In a life-saving turn of events, McEntire became ill while recovering from a bronchitis diagnosis. The country star decided to spend the night in California to recover. That illness and decision to stay on the West Coast saved her life, along with the lives of her then-husband, Narvel Blackstock, and her team.

However, the unfortunate band members and tour manager loaded onto the plane to fly from San Diego, CA to the location of the upcoming show in Fort Wayne, IN. If Reba didn’t take a night break for her health then she quite possibly could’ve been a victim and lost soul of the crash.

According to the LA Times, the individuals boarded the plane around 1:45 a.m. Shortly after taking off from a San Diego airstrip, the first of the two planes carrying the band members and crew crashed into the Otay Mountain peak. There were no survivors.

Eerie Similarities Between Reba’s Idol, Patsy Cline

The tragic incident hits a little too close to home when it comes to Reba McEntire’s chosen encore song. “Sweet Dreams” was first gifted to the world by the groundbreaking and unforgettable female country star, Patsy Cline. Sadly, the sensational Cline also lost her life in a plane crash in March of 1963.

Reba often closed her sets by singing Patsy’s famous “Sweet Dreams.” The superstar has called Patsy Cline an “idol.”

The famous country music star would end many of her performances by singing acapella versions of Cline’s song. Since the tragedy, Reba McEntire has refused to perform the song ever again. She explains that it was too painful for her to relive the song in light of the tragedy. You can’t help but feel bad for the superstar. It’s easy to understand why she never performs the last song she sang with her good friends before their death.

The following video tells the story of Reba McEntire’s heartbreak over the loss of those important to her.