On This Day: Reba McEntire Wins Grammy for ‘Whoever’s in New England’ at 1987 Grammys

by Katie Maloney

Thirty-four years ago today, Reba McEntire won the Best Country Vocal Performance award at the Grammys.

Reba McEntire was up against some serious country contenders during the 29th Annual Grammy Awards. She competed against Emmylou Harris for “Today I Started Loving You Again” and Kathy Mattea’s “Love at the Five and Dime.” Holly Dunn was also nominated for her song “Daddy’s Hands,” and Crystal Gayle for her song “Cry.”

But in true Reba McEntire fashion, she took home the prize for her song, “Whoever’s in New England.” However, that wasn’t the only award she won for the song. Reba also released her very first music video for this song. And her efforts paid off. She won Video of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1987.

What’s The Story Behind Reba McEntire’s Song ‘Whoever’s In New England’?

“Whoever’s In New England” is about a woman who suspects that her husband is cheating on her. He is constantly going to New England for what he claims are business trips. But Reba suspects that there’s something (or someone) else in the area that’s calling him there. During the song, she sings, “When whoever’s in New England is through with you. And Boston finds better things to do, you know it’s not too late ’cause you’ll always have a place to go. When whoever’s in New England’s through with you.”

Reba also released her very first music video with this song. The video features an aching Reba at home alone after her husband leaves for New England “each time duty calls.” Although she hopes he truly is there for business, she suspects that he may be cheating on her. The heart-wrenching video eventually offers viewers relief when her husband has a change of heart and returns home. The two passionately embrace and all is right in the country music world again.

“Whoever’s in New England” was the premiere single for Reba McEntire’s album of the same name. The album became her first number one album on the Billboard country albums. The song spent 23 weeks on the chart and soared to the number one spot. The song is often considered Reba’s breakthrough hit and is still a fan favorite today.