Reba McEntire Recalls the Vulnerable Conversation With Her “Mama” That Spurred Her Big Break

First stepping on stage during the 1970s, Reba McEntire watched her career flourish as she not only released over 30 studio albums but also won over 50 awards. While an icon in country music, the singer recently gushed over her new award. Although winning a Grammy Award is a top priority for many singers, nothing compares to Reba gaining the Western Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. And while remembering how she started in country music, the star recalled the drive her mother helped give her.

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Sitting down with News 9 to discuss her decades in country music, Reba shared her enthusiasm for being recognized by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. “It’s so special because it is from the Western way of life. It is the life that I grew up being around.” Raised on a cattle ranch, Reba credited her success to the grit she learned working as a child. “I lived on a working cattle ranch all of my life. I was one of Daddy’s hired hands, and I was paid by room and board. So it was a rough way of life, but it taught me a lot.”

[RELATED: 3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Reba McEntire]

Reba McEntire Shares How Her Faith Helped Her Music Career

Like any singer looking to step into country music, Reba found herself fighting nerves when traveling to Nashville. Thankfully the hitmaker received some inspiration from her mother. “When Mama and I were going to Nashville to meet with Red Steagall to sing a couple of the songs that he had written, I was hem-hawing around, wanting to pull over and get an ice cream. ‘Can we take a detour?’ And (Mama) said ‘Reba, if you don’t want to do this we can go home,’ but she said, ‘Reba, if you do this I will be living my dreams through you.’ I said ‘Well, shoot, why didn’t you say that in the beginning? Let’s go.'”

Outside of her upbringing and support from her mother, Reba relied heavily on her faith to guide her through the music industry. “I have known about the Lord all of my life, so to be at a point where I don’t have him with me, I don’t know how I would even exist. I don’t think I could deal with life. So it inspires me. It comforts me. It encourages me, and I am never alone — and I have someone on my side.”

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

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