Reba McEntire Reveals She Wasn’t Initially Excited About Oscars Performance

by Megan Molseed

As Reba McEntire was gearing up to perform at the upcoming 94th Annual Academy Awards event she felt a sense of worry that she didn’t quite understand. As the country music icon’s Academy Awards appearance continued to approach, however, she began to understand where these feelings were originating. It turns out, the feelings are rooted in a past tragedy. One that still affects McEntire to this day.

“I was very emotional yesterday about the Oscars,” Reba McEntire says ahead of her Sunday, March 27 Academy Awards performance. Then, the country music superstar says she had a major revelation. The last time she agreed to an Oscars performance, a tragedy changed her life forever.

“I said yes to the Oscars in ’91, and then the plane crash happened,” Reba McEntire explains.

Reba McEntire Faces Tragedy Just Days Before 1991 Oscars Performance

During the 1991 Academy Awards, Reba McEntire stepped onto the stage, performing her Academy Award-nominated song I’m Checking Out. The song is featured in the 1991 film Postcards From the Edge. However, the moment was far from a celebratory one for McEntire. Just days before on March 16, 1991, several of McEntire’s band members and her road manager, Jim Hammond lost their lives in a devastating plane crash. The crash happened as the group was leaving a San Diego performance.

Initially, McEntire says, she considered not performing during the Oscars that year. However, the iconic singer forged on, taking the stage in an emotional performance.

“I went and sang the song, because I felt [road manager] Jim Hammond talking to me,” Reba McEntire explains. “Saying ‘Go do it for us. We’re checked out of this heartbreak hotel.'”

McEntire Is Facing Some Very Painful Memories Ahead Of 2022 Academy Awards Performance

Now, over a decade later, Reba McEntire prepares to perform on the Oscars stage yet again. And, the singer says, it is bringing back some difficult feelings.

“Everybody said, ‘Aren’t you excited? Aren’t you excited?'” the country music superstar says. “And I don’t feel excited.” Reba goes on to note that once she came to terms with the source of the deep feelings, she began to worry that something bad might happen again, pre-performance.

“I thought if I felt too excited, something could happen,” McEntire recalls.

“So I said, ‘God, I’m just gonna give it up to you,'” the singer explains.

“I don’t know why I didn’t [do that] when I first felt this heaviness in my heart,” McEntire continues.

“I just said, ‘I’m giving it all up to you,” she says. “Let me sing it the way I’m supposed to sing it. Your will, not my will. Your way, not my way.'”

Once McEntire made peace with her feelings, she felt better about the upcoming performance.

“It lifted, like, 100 pounds,” McEntire says. “We went to rehearsal and I had a great time.”

Reba McEntire is nominated for another Best Original Song during the 2022 Academy Awards. She was nominated for the award for her song Somehow You Do which is featured in the film Four Good Days.