Did You Know Reba McEntire Holds a Record Among Women in Country?

Did You Know Reba McEntire Holds a Record Among Women in Country?

Over the past four decades, country music’s sonic landscape has changed and evolved, but one thing has remained constant: Reba McEntire. The icon is the only country female solo act to have a No. 1 hit in four straight decades.

McEntire’s hits began in 1982, when she shot straight to the top of the charts with “Can’t Even Get the Blues,” her first-ever No. 1 song. The ’80s were a fantastic decade for her, with hits such as “How Blue,” “Little Rock,” “Love Will Find Its Way to You” and “New Fool at an Old Game,” among others, propelling McEntire to the top of country music and solidifying her place as a household name and country star.

The ’90s were also a strong time for the fiery redhead, and she churned out chart-toppers “You Lie,” “Is There Life Out There,” “Does He Love You” (with Linda Davis) and “How Was I to Know” in addition to many other hit songs. McEntire released eight full-length studio albums during the decade.

In the 2000s, McEntire dropped three records, and “Somebody” and “Consider Me Gone” were her two No. 1 songs from 2000 through 2009. Since 2010, “Turn on the Radio” has become a country hit for the singer; it’s from “All the Women I Am.”


Throughout her prolific career, McEntire has achieved 35 No. 1 singles and sold over 56 million albums worldwide and more than 9 million tickets while touring. Who knows what could be ahead for her in the next four decades?

Check out the video above — part of Taste of Country‘s You Think You Know Country? series — to learn more about McEntire’s colorful and hit-filled history.

Reba McEntire Through the Years

Reba McEntire, 1977


Reba McEntire, 1977

Mercury Records

Reba McEntire, 1977

In 1977, Reba McEntire began what would be an incredible year. She was signed to Mercury Records and released her debut album that year. It included her first single, “I Don’t Wanna Be a One Night Stand.”

Reba McEntire, 1979


Reba McEntire, 1979

Mercury Records

Reba McEntire, 1979

In 1979, McEntire released Out of a Dream, her second studio album, on which she covered Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.” That song became huge for McEntire — it was her first Top 20 hit and peaked at No. 19. But this was just the beginning of a long line of hits for the redheaded beauty.

Reba McEntire, 1982


Reba McEntire, 1982

Mercury Records

Reba McEntire, 1982

McEntire’s 1982 album, Unlimited, was her most successful to date. It was her fifth studio album, and at the time, she was still working with Mercury Records. Unlimited gave her her very first Billboard No. 1 hit! “Can’t Even Get the Blues” was her second single from the record and was her very first time at the top of the charts.

Reba McEntire, 1984
Reba McEntire, 1984

MCA Records

Reba McEntire, 1984

1984 was a year of change for Reba. The previous year she announced she was leaving Mercury Reocrds, as she wanted a more traditional country sound than she was getting with the label. In 1984 she released two albums with MCA, including My Kind of Country, which gave her two No. 1 hits. She also won CMA and ACM awards for Female Vocalist that year.

Reba McEntire, 1987
Reba McEntire, 1987

MCA Records

Reba McEntire, 1987

Reba McEntire had a big year, personally and professionally, in 1987. She released The Last One to Know, her 12th studio album, a Christmas album and a greatest hits album, divorced her husband and won a major award. She also won her first Grammy. McEntire snagged Best Female Country Vocal Performance “Whoever’s in New England.”

Reba McEntire, 1989
Reba McEntire, 1989

MCA Records

Reba McEntire, 1989

Sweet Sixteen, McEntire’s 14th studio album, was released in 1989 and it was huge. The album spent a whopping 16 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart. She had a total of four singles reach the Top 10, and one of them — a cover of the Everly Brothers’ song “Cathy’s Clown” — reached No. 1. This was also the year that McEntire hosted Good Morning America, which gave her the acting bug.

Reba McEntire, 1990
Reba McEntire, 1990

Universal Pictures

Reba McEntire, 1990

1990 was the year McEntire decided she was meant for the screen! She played Heather Gummer in the movie Tremors, marking her first foray into film. She also released Rumor Has It, which contained one of her most famous songs, “Fancy.” The song was a cover of a Bobby Gentry original. This year she also embarked on a tour to promote the album.

Reba McEntire, 1991
Reba McEntire, 1991

YouTube

Reba McEntire, 1991

1991 was a difficult year for McEntire. She was still on her tour when tragedy struck her and her band. Seven members of her band and her tour manager were killed in March when their plane crashed outside San Diego. Later that year, McEntire released For My Broken Heart, which she dedicated to those lives lost.

Reba McEntire, 1993
Reba McEntire, 1993

MCA Records

Reba McEntire, 1993

McEntire released her Greatest Hits Volume Two compilation in 1993. This was her third compilation album, but her fans were still excited, making the album a success. That same year Reba was nominated for a Grammy for “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” and was nominated for seven ACM Awards in just six categories!

Reba McEntire, 1997
Reba McEntire, 1997

Reba McEntire, 1997

In 1997, McEntire brought her long list of hits on the road with Brooks & Dunn! The “Fancy” singer co-headlined the tour along with the duo, and they developed a personal and professional relationship — it even led to a recording session. Together, they cut a song called “If You See Him/If You See Her” that was put out on both of their records.

Reba McEntire, 1999
Reba McEntire, 1999

MCA Records

Reba McEntire, 1999

Reba McEntire released two albums in 1999 — one was her second Christmas album, The Secret of Giving: A Christmas Collection and the other was her 22nd studio album, So Good Together. That album had three singles, including her first-ever crossover hit, “What Do You Say.”

Reba McEntire, 2001
Reba McEntire, 2001

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2001

The acting bug bit Reba once again in 2001. She brought her acting talent to Broadway this time, for a production of Annie Get Your Gun. Naturally, McEntire played the lead role of Annie Oakley. She also released a third greatest hits album this year and it went gold, marking her third gold certification.

Reba McEntire, 2003
Reba McEntire, 2003

Robert Mora, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2003

In 2003, McEntire finally got back to recording after a two-year hiatus. Her single “I’m Gonna Take That Mountain” was released that year before the album Room to Breathe dropped. She also made appearances on several awards shows throughout a very busy year.

Reba McEntire, 2005
Reba McEntire, 2005

Brad Barket, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2005

McEntire took a page from George Strait’s book in 2005, when she released a compilation of her No. 1 hits called Reba 1’s. The album included all 33 of her biggest hits, as well as two new songs. That same year, McEntire played Nellie Forbush in South Pacific at Carnegie Hall.

Reba McEntire, 2007
Reba McEntire, 2007

Scott Gries, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2007

Reba McEntire had a great year in 2007 when it came to awards nominations. In fact, she scored two under the CMA Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year. This began a sequence of double CMA nods for the next two years, which made Reba the most nominated female in the genre. It wasn’t all good in 2007, however — that was the year her TV show Reba was canceled.

Reba McEntire, 2008
Reba McEntire, 2008

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2008

McEntire started 2008 in a big way. In January, she set off on the 2 Worlds 2 Voices tour with Kelly Clarkson. She also rekindled her working relationship with Brooks & Dunn. Together, they re-recorded “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.” She also said goodbye to her record label and signed with Valory Music Group, a division of Big Machine Records.

Reba McEntire, 2009
Reba McEntire, 2009

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2009

When Reba performed during the 2009 Academy of Country Music Awards, she played her first single on her new record label. The song was “Strange” and debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard charts. She released Keep on Loving You in August of that year, which marked her first solo studio record in roughly six years!

Reba McEntire, 2011
Reba McEntire, 2011

Sam Greenwood, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2011

Reba McEntire got one of the biggest honors of her career in 2011, as it was announced that she would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony set for May 22 of that year. Dolly Parton had the honor of inducting McEntire. Two months later, it was announced that the “Fancy” singer would hit 31 cities for her All the Women I Am tour.

Reba McEntire, 2014
Reba McEntire, 2014

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2014

2014 was another year of change for Reba. She was the very first artist to sign with Big Machine’s new label, NASH Icon Music. The good news didn’t stop there, though. She also let her fans know she was working on a new album. Sadly, she suffered a devastating loss in the fall, as her father passed way in October.

Reba McEntire, 2015
Reba McEntire, 2015

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Reba McEntire, 2015

2015 started off with new music from Reba McEntire. “Going Out Like That” was released and was the first song from her Love Somebody album, due April. The single and record are the first from the new Big Machine label, NASH Icon. Obviously, turning 60 isn’t going to slow this beautiful singer down.

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