Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers were friends for years up until Rogers’ death. But she once almost got on the country legend’s bad side.
In a recent interview with Taste of Country, McEntire reflected on a time that she messed up bad and hurt Rogers’ feelings. As most country fans will know, McEntire released the hit song “The Heart Won’t Lie” back in 1993. It earned the singer another No.1 hit and became an instant favorite.
McEntire performed the tune as a duet with Vince Gill. But originally, McEntire planned to record the duet with Rogers. Unfortunately, McEntire failed to make the song work with Rogers. She decided to move on, but she failed to tell the artist in advance.
“‘Heart Won’t Lie’ was a song we were trying to get a duet on with Kenny Rogers, and the keys just would not work,” McEntire told the outlet. “Then I took the song, and did the duet with Vince. I didn’t tell Kenny, which was my mistake, totally.”
Reba McEntire Apologizes to Kenny Rogers
Well with Vince Gill, the song ended up blowing up on her “It’s Your Call” album. McEntire scored another win for her career. But Rogers felt hurt to see how popular the song became. He decided to approach McEntire to sort through the matter.
“Kenny approached me at the CMA Awards,” she reveals. “He said, ‘Why did you do that?’ I said, ‘Kenny, I am so sorry. We were just going so fast. It’s a great, wonderful song. I never even considered coming back, and talking to you about that, and that’s one of the things I totally regret.’ I hugged his neck, and I told him I was terribly sorry. But I did not do that maliciously.”
Fortunately, Rogers decided to forgive McEntire for the slight. In fact, the two stayed friends all the way up to Rogers’ death in March 2020. But their friendship stretched backwards to 1991 TV movie “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw.”
Rogers invited McEntire to star in the film. At the time, the singer was going through a tough time. She had lost eight members of her band in a plane crash. She was struggling with her grief when Rogers offered her the part.
“I was still in a state of disbelief and not knowing what I’m gonna do moving forward after the plane crash,” she said. After Rogers’ death, McEntire memorialized her friend on social media. “Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain. Please tell mama and daddy hi for me. Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend.”