Reba McEntire Talks Taking Reins on Her Career After Divorcing Husband of 26 Years

by Jennifer Shea

Country superstar Reba McEntire treasures her hard-won independence. But it was a difficult road getting from her divorce to where she is today.

On Apple’s new Time to Walk podcast, previewed exclusively for People, McEntire talked about the major changes she went through following her 2015 divorce from her then-manager, Narvel Blackstock. The country crooner said the shock of her divorce from Blackstock was compounded by the loss of her father in October of 2014, shortly before her divorce was finalized.  

“Four men who were rock and pillars of my world were gone,” McEntire said of that time.

Reba McEntire Turned to God to Get Her Through a Personal Crisis

On the podcast, McEntire described the process of losing the four people who were holding her business together. That happened even as she was going through the personal crisis of her divorce.

“Things started going south with my marriage,” she explained. “Narvel Blackstock, my manager and husband at the time — we got a divorce. And the shocker of it all was, there were four people who were taking care of all my business. I had my production manager who left. I had my CEO who left. My manager and husband. And my father had died.”

“I started taking over signing the checks,” she continued. “And then I started realizing how much water cost, and the electric bill, and all the things that was going on in my life. I made the money. I brought it home. So it was a huge, huge change for me.”

Reba McEntire would have been overwhelmed by everything she was going through if she hadn’t turned to God. She tried to listen and discern God’s plan for her.

“Everything that I was dealing with privately, personally — I had to run it all through God,” McEntire said. “I had to say, ‘OK big boy, I can’t handle this. This is way over my pay grade. I don’t know what to do.’ And I would wait. And He would guide me. And so without my faith, I have no idea where I would be or my career would be, at this time today.”

McEntire Offers Advice to People Going Through Divorce, Upheaval

Meanwhile, ever mindful of others, today McEntire keeps her struggles in perspective. She realizes that she’s not alone in weathering divorce, business struggles or a death in the family. So she offered some words of advice to people currently going through what she’s experienced.

“If someone walked up to me and said, ‘Reba, I’m going through a situation like you did — what’s your advice?’ I would say, ‘Go home, regroup, and listen to see what you’re supposed to do next,’” McEntire said on the podcast. “Rally friends around you, good positive friends that have your best interests at heart — which I did — and you will survive.'”

And since then, McEntire has indeed bounced back. Her latest release is a box set, Revived Remixed Revisited, full of updated takes on her classic songs. It drops on Oct. 8.