George ‘Reba’ Schappell, Conjoined Twin and Country Singer, Dies at 62

George ‘Reba’ Schappell — country singer, conjoined twin and Reba McEntire superfan — has died at age 62. He and his twin sister, Lori, passed April 7 at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The pair were the world’s oldest living conjoined twins, according to the Guinness World Records.

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George ‘Reba’ Schappell Was an Award-Winning Country Musician

George and Lori Schappell were born in Pennsylvania in September 1961. Their skulls were partially fused together, and they shared vital blood vessels along with 30 percent of their brains — specifically, the frontal and parietal lobes.

The twins had distinct personalities, always striving to live as independently as possible. In 2007, they made history as the first same-sex conjoined twins to identify as different genders after George came out as a transgender man.

Importantly, they also managed to pursue separate hobbies. Lori won trophies in ten-pin bowling. George was an award-winning country singer, traveling across the United States and even internationally. In 1997, he received an L.A. Music Award for Best Country Artist.

George Was Always a Huge Reba Fan

Disliking that their given names rhymed, George previously adopted the name Reba, after his idol Reba McEntire. A life-sized cutout of the “Fancy” singer is even visible in George’s room in one scene. He also performed a cover of Reba’s 1996 single “Fear of Being Alone” during the documentary.

Both twins always stood firm in their own individuality. When asked in a 1997 documentary if they felt like two separate people, Lori replied confidently, “We are.We don’t feel it, we are.”

The twins shared a two-bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania. Each sibling had their own room, alternating nights spent in each one. George’s room was also a safe haven for him to unwind and practice for his upcoming shows. During those times, Lori emphasized, “I’m here in body, but that is it.”

“She cannot interrupt me or talk to me while I’m out performing,” George said.

Lori arranged her work schedule at a hospital laundry around those performances. She paid to attend her brother’s concerts, just like any other fan would.

As much as the conjoined twins valued individuality, their bond was clearly unbreakable. During the 1997 documentary, George was adamant that they wouldn’t desire separation even if it were possible.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “My theory is: why fix what is not broken?”

Featured image by Jemal Countess/WireImage for PMK / HBH

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