Country Throwback: Watch Reba McEntire Breaks Down in Tears After Winning First CMA Award in 1984

by Matthew Wilson
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Every famous artist has a start. Reba McEntire breaks down in tears in this throwback video to her first CMA Award win in 1984. Winning Female Vocalist of the Year made the singer more than a little emotional.

Audiences stood and gave McEntire a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage. In 1984, McEntire released her eighth studio album “My Kind of Country,” which featured the hit singles “How Blue” and “Somebody Should Leave.” The CMA recognized her work and contribution to country music.

Once up on stage, McEntire composed herself and delivered a rousing acceptance speech that highlighted her humble beginnings. She also thanked all of the people that helped her along the way.

“When I was about, well back when Merle Haggard was winning for ‘Okie From Muskogee’ I would go to bed at night,” McEntire said during the speech. “And I would rehearse my acceptance speech. Because I knew in my heart, God meant for me to do this one of these days. And he didn’t let me down.”

“If I had everybody on stage to thank, we couldn’t get everybody up here because there are just too many people,” McEntire continued. “But I personally want to come after this show in the next year to hug your neck and give you a kiss for helping me through all of my lifetime.”

Reba McEntire Dedicated the Win to Her Mother

1984 was the second year in a row that McEntire had been up for the Female Vocalist award. The artist would follow up that win with three more consecutive wins in 1985, 86, and 87. She also won Entertainer of the Year in 1986, cementing McEntire’s legacy within the industry. But that first award will always be special to her.

McEntire dedicated the win to her mother Jacqueline Smith, who encouraged her talents. Jacqueline passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer.

“The first time me and mama came to Nashville, she told me, she said, ‘Reba, I couldn’t do this. So I’m living my life and my dreams through you,'” McEntire said. “This is for me and mama and we thank you.”

McEntire would host the CMA Awards five times across her career, including most recently this year.

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