Reba Nell McEntire (born March 28, 1955) is an American country music artist. She began her career in the music industry singing with her siblings on local radio shows and rodeos. As a solo act, she was invited to perform at a rodeo in Oklahoma City, which caught the attention of country artist Red Steagall.
After being discovered by Steagall, McEntire signed a recording contract with Polygram/Mercury Records in 1976. In 1977, she released her debut, self-titled album, which yielded four singles that failed to become major hits on the country chart. It was her next album, released in 1979, titled “Out of a Dream” that produced her first Top 40 hits and her first major hit, a remake of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams."
Between 1980 and 1984, McEntire had a series of Top 10 and 20 country hits, including "(You Lift Me Up) To Heaven," "Today All Over Again," "Only You (And You Alone)," and her first #1 country hit, "Can't Even Get the Blues." However, she was not pleased with the music she was recording under the label (country pop-styled ballads) and signed with MCA Records in 1984, where McEntire had more control over what she wanted to record and how she wanted to record it.
Under MCA, McEntire began to have her biggest success with the release of her 1984 album, “My Kind of Country,” which celebrated traditional country music. The album spawned two #1 hits, "How Blue" and "Somebody Should Leave," setting the trend for a string of #1 hits McEntire would have in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, including songs like "Whoever's in New England," "Little Rock," "The Last One to Know," "One Promise Too Late," "Love Will Find Its Way to You," "Rumor Has it," and "For My Broken Heart."
Her success in the late 80s helped revitalize traditional country music, and McEntire was considered one of the leaders in the traditional country sound of the late 80s and 90s, along with George Strait, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, and Randy Travis (though McEntire went in a more pop direction in the 1990s).
McEntire's success continued into the late 90s, especially after the release of 1996's “What If It's You,” which yielded her first #1 single ("How Was I to Know") in almost two years and three additional major hits ("The Fear of Being Alone", "I'd Rather Ride Around with You" and "What If It's You").
After the release of 1999's “So Good Together”, McEntire branched out into acting and created her own television sitcom, “Reba” (2001–2007), and didn't record or tour for nearly three years.
In 2004, she returned to music with her 24th studio album, “Room to Breathe.” The album produced her first #1 hit, "Somebody," since 1998 and three additional major hits between 2004 and 2005.
In 2007, she released her 25th and final album for MCA, “Reba: Duets,” a collection of duets with other recording artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, and Justin Timberlake. In 2008, she signed with the Valory Music Group, which released her first single, "Strange", to radio in early April 2009.
In her thirty-five year career Reba McEntire has produced 25 #1 singles, tying the record with Dolly Parton for the most #1 singles by a female country artist. In addition, McEntire holds the record for the most Top 10 hits by a female country artist, surpassing Parton's record in 2009 with her 56th Top 10 hit, "Cowgirls Don't Cry," a duet with Brooks & Dunn, before surpassing her own record with her 57th top 10 hit in late 2009, the #1 'Consider Me Gone. Reba's single, "Keep On Loving You" became her 58th Top 10 hit in June 2010. She has released 25 studio albums,18 compilations,10 video albums,2 holiday albums and 2 live albums, in which 33 of those albums have received a gold certification or more, 9 gold albums, 15 platinum albums, 3 double platinum albums, 3 triple platinum albums, 2 quadruple platinum albums, and 1 quintuple platinum album. As of 2010, McEntire has sold 56 million albums world-wide.
McEntire's best-selling album is “Greatest Hits Volume Two” which was released September 28, 1993. It has sold 6.2 million copies world-wide. The album is certified 5x Platinum in the US and has sold 5,900,000 copies in the US. It is certified 2x Platinum in Canada and has sold 240,000 copies in Canada.