On this day, ten years ago, Reba McEntire’s cemented herself as a country music legend when she became inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
On May 22, 2011, during an intimate Medallion Ceremony in Nashville, she was joined by fellow inductees Bobby Braddock, Jean Shepard, friends, family, and colleagues. Her good friend, Dolly Parton, officially welcomed her.
Reba McEntire was inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category, while Shepard was placed in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Braddock became the first inductee in the new “Songwriter” category at the time.
As for musical guests for the event, Garth Brooks performed Reba McEntire’s “Whoever’s in New England,” and Vince Gill paid homage to her with her song, “Somebody Should Leave.”
Later on, Kelly Clarkson and Martina McBride performed a powerful duet of “Does He Love You.” Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, and McEntire’s sister sang “How Blue” for the “Fancy” singer.
“We are inducting royalty this year,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer at the time. “Jean and Reba are two of Country Music’s most revered queens, and Bobby Braddock is a king of songwriting. All three of them refused to follow the crowd; instead, creating their own unique paths. I cannot imagine what Country Music would be like today without these three talented individuals and all of their accomplishments. They each continue to inspire me with their latest performances, albums, compositions, and productions.”
“When I think of my heroes who are in the Country Music Hall of Fame, I am truly humbled to know that I am being inducted,” said Braddock. “I want to express my gratitude to the voters who feel that I am worthy of this great honor.”
Reba McEntire’s Childhood Dreams Come True With Induction
“This is a huge honor for me and something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl,” said Reba McEntire. “When I was a young girl, we would take vacations to Nashville and tour the Country Music Hall of Fame. And now, for me to be inducted, is a dream come true.”
For McEntire, singing country music was never just a job, but a passion she loved sharing with the world. During an interview with the Chicago Tribune, she said that her first concern is the female country audience.
“I’m trying to sing songs for women, to say for them what they can’t say for themselves. But I’m trying to do it for the eighties and nineties,” she said at the time.
However, she was unable to attend the press conference held at the Country Hall of Fame and Museum, as she was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, taking care of her ill father at the time. Yet, she released a statement:
“I’m so appreciative of being selected as one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. … It’s a wonderful honor during a very emotional time of my life. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with all of you this morning to get to visit and reminisce about all the fun times we’ve had being a part of the country music business. My daddy has had a stroke, is in a comatose state in ICU in Tulsa. I really need to be with my mama and daddy right now. I know it’s where I should be. … By the way, I told Daddy about being inducted two days before he went into the coma. It’s a huge blessing knowing how important it was to him.”