Reba McEntire Opens Up About Her ‘Love’ for the ‘Cowboy Way of Life’

by Katie Maloney

Reba McEntire doesn’t just want a cowboy, like she sings in her song “I Want A Cowboy.” Just like previous generations of her family, Reba grew up living the cowboy lifestyle herself.

Certainly, Reba McEntire is a headstrong, successful, and talented country woman. Thirty-eight years ago, Reba clinched her first number one hit song with “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” Since then, Reba has amassed 24 number one hit singles. She’s also won three Grammys, six Country Music Awards, and 15 American Music Awards.

But before she hit it big as a country music superstar, Reba McEntire grew up working on her family’s cattle ranch in Oklahoma. During an interview in 2020 promoting the upcoming documentary, Dear Rodeo, Reba talked with fellow country singer Cody Johnson about growing up on a ranch.

“I was the third out of four kids growing up on a working cattle ranch in southeastern Oklahoma. 8,000 acres,” said McEntire. “We were the hired hands. I absolutely loved growing up on a ranch. We learned a lot. work ethic. And I loved to ride. I love the cowboy way of life.”

Reba McEntire talks about growing up on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma.

Cody added that he could still see the cowboy in Reba.

“After getting to know you a little bit, I think you still have that,” said Johnson. “And it’s very much, being a cowboy is more inside than outside. And I think that’s true for men and women who grow up around that.”

Cody then asked if Reba felt that her upbringing on the ranch contributed to her career success.

“Totally. And not only with the work ethic but respect. Show up, be on time, be prepared. And do what you say you’re going to do,” said McEntire. “I mean, that’s the cowboy code.”

Reba McEntire’s Dad Was a Three-Time World Champion Steer Roper

The cowboy blood runs thick in Reba McEntire’s family. Her father, Clark McEntire, was a three-time world champion steer roper and ProRodeo Hall of Fame inaugural member. Additionally, Clark was the youngest contestant to win the all-around at the 1947 Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon. In conclusion, Reba McEntire knows what it means to be a cowboy. She even wrote a song in her father’s honor, “Daddy.”

“Daddy” is about her father’s dedication to his ranch and family. During the song Reba sings, “My daddy is a rancher. He’s wrangled cattle dang near all his life. He also liked to rodeo. He traveled around with four kids and a wife…Well, they worked real hard and roped real good and now they got their ranch out in the clear. Because when a family works together, they finally get their ranch out in the clear.”
Reba McEntire sings about her dad in “Daddy.”