Reba McEntire remembers the day she lost her band in a horrific plane crash 32 years ago

Today marks Reba McEntire’s 68th birthday, a testament to her enduring legacy in the world of music. Her presence feels timeless, a constant soundtrack in many lives, including mine, as I find myself still listening to her music several times a week.

However, amidst her illustrious career, Reba has faced her share of hardships. This year commemorates the 32nd anniversary of a plane crash that claimed the lives of several of her friends.

After rising to prominence in country music during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Reba earned the prestigious title of “best singer” four years in a row from the Country Music Association. Her achievements also earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Yet, alongside her professional success, Reba has encountered personal tragedies. In 2022, her mother Jacqueline passed away at the age of 93 after battling cancer.

Reflecting on her mother’s life, Reba expressed gratitude for the time they shared and the love they experienced. Jacqueline, a country singer herself, imparted her passion for music to Reba, nurturing her daughter’s talent and dreams.

Reba’s journey has been marked by sorrow and loss, notably on March 16, 1991, when she lost seven band members and her tour manager in a plane crash following a concert.

I remember hearing about the crash on the radio during my commute to work, fearing Reba was among the victims. Thankfully, she wasn’t.

Following a performance in San Diego, Reba and her husband opted to stay overnight while the rest of the band flew ahead to Fort Wayne, Ind. Tragically, the plane crashed just ten miles east of the airport, claiming the lives of those onboard.

Over the years, Reba has honored her lost friends, sharing memories and tributes. In a poignant interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012, she recounted the heartbreaking moment she learned of the crash.

Now, 32 years later, Reba continues to pay homage to her friends, sharing photos and memories on social media. Despite the passage of time, the pain of loss remains, a reminder to cherish every moment with loved ones.

In 2023, Reba reaffirmed her commitment to preserving the memory of her friends, sharing a heartfelt message and video of the group performing together. Her resilience and enduring love for music serve as a source of strength for us all.