On This Day: Reba McEntire Ticks to the Top With ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ in 1995

by Jim Casey
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Reba McEntire scored her 19th chart-topper when “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” reached No. 1 on April 15, 1995.

Reba McEntire found a lot of success on the charts with her “Heart.” Reba notched a No. 1 single with “For My Broken Heart” in 1991. She followed it up with No. 1 hit “The Heart Won’t Lie” in 1993.

Heart Hunting

In April 1994, Reba McEntire released her 18th studio album, Read My Mind. The 10-song offering featured four Top 10 singles (“Why Haven’t I Heard From You,” “Till You Love Me,” “And Still”), but only one No. 1 hit, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”

Penned by Mark D. Sanders, Kim Williams, and Ed Hill, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” was released as the album’s fourth single in February 1995. On April 15, the mid-tempo tune about finding comfort in the arms of a one-night lover topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Reba McEntire Reaches New Heights

While Reba McEntire released 10 singles in the late 1970s, her career didn’t catch fire until the early 1980s. By the mid-1980s, Reba was dominating the charts. By the 1990s, she was a full-blown country icon.

Reba’s 1994 album, Read My Mind, was certified 3X Platinum by the RIAA for sales of 3 million units in 1995, making it one of her best-selling albums of all time. The record was also a launching pad for the release of Reba’s New York Times best-selling autobiography, Reba: My Story. In addition, the album helped Reba launched her first NBC concert special, Reba Live, in 1994.

In honor of the album’s 25th anniversary in 2019, Reba released the project on vinyl for the first time.

“I love every single song on this album, and I am so proud that all these years later my fans still want to hear them in our live shows,” wrote Reba McEntire in the album’s liner notes. “A lot of the songs on this record have become career-defining songs for me.”

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