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Annie Potts Reveals a Rare Moment Reba McEntire Was Forced to Sing "Off-Key"

The country icon showed flexed her acting chops back in 2021. 

By Jackie Manno

Reba McEntire mastered the art of pretending during one of her funny throwback roles. 

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McEntire guest starred in a few episodes of Young Sheldon from Seasons 3 to 5, playing the role of a hairstylist named June Ballard. Back in 2021, she had a particularly memorable appearance in a Season 4 episode, and series co-star Annie Potts recalled the experience while on The Jennifer Hudson Show on April 16. 

In the episode, Ballard struggles to sing the tunes "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers on key. McEntire's acting was especially impressive in the moments, considering that she is such a naturally gifted singer. 

“The funny thing is they [the show’s writers] wrote [Reba’s] part so that… the idea was that she couldn’t sing,” Potts explained to Hudson of working with McEntire. 

“She sang off-key, which, if you’re a really good singer, it is very is difficult. Off-key," she continued. "But she just like — I don’t know — went up or down a fifth and stayed there. And it was an astonishing thing. A measure of just how good she is, of course."

Meanwhile, Potts described McEntire as "funny and delightful, sweet and beautiful. All of that.”

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A split of Annie Potts and Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire's connection with her boyfriend, Rex Linn

McEntire also met her boyfriend, Rex Linn, on the set of Young Sheldon. When McEntire herself was on The Jennifer Hudson Show in 2023, she recalled how the two instantly clicked

"Well, Rex Linn, my boyfriend, he's a handsome rascal... His best friend from sixth grade is Ed Gaylord, and I've known Ed for a long time, and so we're all friends," she explained to Hudson. "And then in January of 2020, before COVID, I was doing Young Sheldon, Rex was doing Young Sheldon, so was Melissa Peterman, who played Barbra Jean on the Reba show. So Rex texted me, 'You gonna be in town?' I said, 'Yeah.' He wants to go to dinner." 

She continued: "...So we all went to dinner, had a good time, went down that street to a wine bar, and they said, 'Well, I understand that you've already had dinner, but we do have some good appetizers. I said, 'What do you have?' They said, 'Well, we have tater tots.'" At this, McEntire excitedly raised her hand in the air.

Rex Linn and Reba McEntire attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland

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That's where Linn's nickname for McEntire was born. "And so Rex said, 'That's your nickname from here on out: Tater Tot," McEntire said with a giggle. 

As for McEntire's nickname for Linn? Sugar Tot! "We're the tots, Sugar and Tater," McEntire proudly declared. "So we've been together ever since. He's a sweetheart."