Reba McEntire – Singer+Songwriter+Actress+Entrepreneur [VIDEO]
All this week, I've featured women of strength in support of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor's Women's Build Week, which empowers and encourages women to get involved in construction. Today's strong woman is the Queen of Country, Reba!
Reba McEntire was born in McAlester, Oklahoma in 1955, the daughter of a champion steer roper and a schoolteacher. Reba's mother, Jacqueline had considered a career as a country singer but decided to teach instead. She would teach her students how to sing and would teach the McEntire siblings songs on road trips. They would work out their own harmonies on the songs, which eventually caused them to form a group called 'The Singing McEntires.'
Reba was going to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, studying to be a schoolteacher, when she performed the National Anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Red Steagall was also performing that day and was so impressed with her voice that he agreed to help her launch a country music career.
And what a career it's been! Dubbed 'The Queen of Country,' Reba is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 80 million records worldwide. She very quickly became one of those 'single name ' celebrities. No last name needed...if you say Reba, everyone knows who you're referring to!
In the early 1990's, Reba decided to try her hand at acting, starting with the movie 'Tremors.' From there, she headed to Broadway, to star in 'Annie Get Your Gun.' And then came TV with her hit show, 'Reba!'
But even that wasn't enough for this incredibly ambitious woman. She and husband, Narvel Blackstock, formed a management company called 'Starstruck.' Originally, it was created to manage Reba's complicated and diverse career. But over the years, Starstruck has grown to include recording studios around Nashville, producing albums for other artists, and more.
Reba McEntire holds the record for the most Academy of Country Music Top Female Vocalist awards and American Music Awards for Favorite Female Artist. She's also the first woman to win the CMA's Female Vocalist award four years consecutively. And perhaps most impressive, Reba is also the only female to achieve solo number ones in four decades!
All this week, I've featured stories of strong women, as a way to show support for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor's Women's Build week. The annual event is meant to empower and encourage women to get involved in construction. It also earns the Bangor chapter of Habitat a $5,000 gift certificate from Lowe's to be used on a future build! This year, volunteers (including me!) will be helping to rehab an existing house on Fifth Street in Bangor, getting it ready for its new family. There's also a two-hour paint and DIY workshop being held at Lowe's in Bangor tonight. I hope you'll join in!