Honoring the Lives Lost: Reba McEntire’s Tragic Plane Crash
It has been 32 years since a devastating plane crash forever changed the life of country music icon Reba McEntire. On March 16, 1991, this tragic incident claimed the lives of eight beloved members of her music family, including bandmates and crew who were not only talented musicians but also close friends.
During a flight from San Diego to Indiana, tragedy struck when a wing of the plane struck a large rock on Otay Mountain. While most of the crew went on an outing, Reba had stayed back at the hotel with her husband Narvel and her stylist due to feeling unwell. It was during this outing that Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Chris Austin, Joey Cigainero, and Jim Hammon, the tour manager, lost their lives.
In a heartfelt tribute video posted on Instagram, Reba McEntire expressed her realization of the indelible mark left by these individuals on the music industry. She spoke passionately about their passion for music and their incredible stage presence, which continues to inspire us all.
To keep the memory of her bandmates alive, Reba regularly brings up the subject of their lives and contributions. Their love for music and their astounding talent still resonates through her performances, serving as a moving tribute to their skill and unity.
In a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Reba McEntire reflected on the tragic event and its immediate consequences. She vividly recalled the heart-wrenching moment when her husband Narvel shared the devastating news with her.
"Narvel went to see our pilot who shared the heartbreaking details," Reba shared with Oprah. "He returned to our hotel room in the early morning hours to relay that one of the planes had met with an accident."
Reba’s hopeful question, "Are they okay?" was met with Narvel’s somber reply, "I don’t believe so." The uncertainty and sorrow hung heavy in their hearts. As we remember these remarkable individuals, let us always honor and appreciate the significant impact they had on Reba McEntire’s legacy and the world of music.
Supporting Reba and Her Loved Ones
As fans, let us come together to send our love and support to Reba McEntire and her loved ones. Their strength and resilience throughout the years is a testament to the power of music to heal and unite. Together, we can honor the lives lost and celebrate the enduring legacy of Reba’s music family.
Reba Nell McEntire (born March 28, 1955), or simply Reba, is an American country music singer and actress. Dubbed “the Queen of Country”, she has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Since the 1970s, McEntire has placed over 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 25 of which reached the number one spot. She is an actress in films and television. She starred in the television series Reba, which aired for six seasons. She also owns several businesses, including a clothing line.
One of four children, McEntire was born and raised in Oklahoma. With her mother’s help, she and her siblings formed the Singing McEntires, which played at local events and recorded for a small label. McEntire later enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and studied to become a public school teacher. She also continued to occasionally perform and was heard singing at a rodeo event by country performer Red Steagall. Drawn to her singing voice, Steagall helped McEntire secure a country music recording contract with PolyGram/Mercury Records in 1975; she relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, with her mother that year.