Reba McEntire Belts ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ with Country Legend Kris Kristofferson in 2016 Show

by Jim Casey
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Reba McEntire paid tribute to Kris Kristofferson with a rousing rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee” in 2016.

In March 2016, a who’s who of country music royalty came together at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to honor Kris Kristofferson. The show was billed as The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson: All Star Concert for a DVD special.

In addition to performances by Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr., Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Willie Nelson, and more, the DVD special featured interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Kris.

Reba and ‘Bobby McGee’

Of course, even among the country music royalty, Reba stood out with her performance of “Me and Bobby McGee.”

“I’m doing ‘Bobby McGee,'” said Reba during her sit-down interview before the show. “It’s been a favorite of mine for many, many years. That’s the one I wanted to sing tonight because of the history I have with the song, but also, it’s just a gypsy song. And I just have always really thought of myself as a gypsy. So it really did tag in well with me. I love that song.”

During her lively rendition, Reba implored Kris to join her for the final chorus. He happily obliged.

Kris Gets His Big Break

Kris got his first major break as a songwriter when both Roger Miller and Janis Joplin recorded his tune “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Miller’s rendition reached the Top 20 on the country chart in 1969. Joplin’s 1971 version, which was released posthumously, topped the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“That song broke the ice for me,” said Kris to Country Weekly magazine in 2003. “It lifted me out of having to work for a living, and then I was able to go out and do what I love to do.”

Of course, what Kris loved to do was write and perform. Eventually, his songs were covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Dean Martin. Kris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Reba McEntire joined the Hall in 2011.

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