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The Voice's Reba McEntire Wouldn't Be a Country Icon Without Some Iconic Hairdos

Whether keeping her hair short or "jacked up to Jesus," the Queen of Country has always stayed true to her red hue.

By Jax Miller

Like a fine wine, some things get better with age, like The Voice’s Reba McEntire’s fiery red hairstyles.

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Watch The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

The Oklahoma-born singer of songs like “Fancy” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” is slated to sit in the big red chair in Season 24. Of course, anyone familiar with The Voice knows the country superstar has played a huge part in the series, having been a Battle Advisor for former Coach Blake Shelton’s team in Season 1 and, more recently, serving as the Mega Mentor for Season 23.

It’s hard to think of McEntire without thinking of her signature red locks. So, before she takes a seat alongside returning Coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani, and Niall Horan for what’s sure to be a firecracker of a season, here’s a look back at some of her freshest styles.

RELATED: The Full Story Behind Country Icon Reba McEntire's Name

Once Upon a Time, Reba Was All About the Curls

The daughter of a champion steer roper, McEntire was discovered in the ‘70s after singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the rodeo. In 1975, she headed for Nashville before signing with her first label, PolyGram/Mercury Records, the following year.

But to make it anywhere, of course, she had to look the part.

Reba’s ginger hair would be one of her trademarks, sometimes styled in flowing curls.

Reba McEntire smiling and posing for a portrait.

Big Hair, Don’t Care

McEntire had some of her biggest successes in the 1980s, including her first number-one song, “Can’t Even Get the Blues,” in 1983. But it seemed the bigger the hit, the bigger the hair.

“I had a long period of time before my first, after my first single to my number one,” McEntire once told Billboard. “Took a long time, but boy, it was worth it.”

Don’t forget, the ‘80s were the decade for big hair bands and Cher. So McEntire’s super-teased do was all the rage, including when she won the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1986, beating fellow country legends Willie Nelson, George Strait, and The Judds.

Reba McEntire accepting an award.

But if you’re in the camp that doesn’t miss puffy, teased styles, you might not want to revisit the mullet. All the hottest stars of the day — including Blake Shelton, who has worn multiple versions of the style — sported the look referred to as “business in the front, party in the back,” and McEntire made it her own.

Should one desire to see a mix of the two for the teased mullet, then look no further than the cover of her 1989 album, Sweet Sixteen, which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums.

Reba McEntire performing on stage.

The 1990s were a time of change

We’re not sure if things got much tamer in the early 1990s, but as they say, the higher the hair, the closer to God. Looking back at her styles, McEntire once told Late Night with Seth Meyers that her hair was “jacked up to Jesus.”

She belted out hit after hit in the ‘90s, with songs like “Take it Back” and “How Was I to Know?”

Reba McEntire performing on stage.

By the end of the decade, shortly before her self-titled TV show, Reba had its six-season run, McEntire bravely said goodbye to her curls and hello to a fresh, short pixie cut.

“I cut it just because I wanted to, and it took me a long time to talk everybody into it,” she once said, explaining that she first had to cover the cut with a baseball cap while on tour.

She sent baggies of her hair around the country, explaining, “I think it was radio stations who had contests, things like that, you know.”

The look would carry over into the early aughts.

Reba McEntire during an interview with Jay Leno.

The Millennium

Reba’s short style stayed with the singer until around 2004, when she let it grow for a feathered look, a perfect match for her first studio album in four years, Room to Breathe. Her 25th studio album was something of a music comeback, as was the hairstyle, which became a super popular look in the early 2000s.

Reba McEntire smiling during the Today show.

But it was another transformative decade for McEntire. She embraced a beautiful, long, straight look by 2010, which she sported at the American Country Awards, the CMT Music Awards, and Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale.

Reba McEntire performing on stage.

McEntire kept hair relatively tame and long for public appearances over the next few years, save for a few variations. Straight versus side-swept bangs and a straight edge versus one with angles would just be a few.

It would be around this time when she made her very first appearance on The Voice.

Reba McEntire performing on stage.

What’s Reba doing with her hair today?

McEntire has steadily kept her hair short to medium length since around 2016, staying true to her glorious red hue.

In 2020, she posted a super wet and wild look with the caption: “Felt cute. Might gel my hair and stare out the window while I wait for my grocery delivery.”

RELATED: Kelly Clarkson Had a Hilariously Scary Experience Sleeping at Reba McEntire's House

As Season 23’s Mega Mentor on The Voice, McEntire let her hair grow just passed her shoulders, keeping her signature bangs to cover her forehead (which she jokingly described in 2015 as her “5-head,” sharing a rare look with slicked-back hair).

We can’t wait to see what look she serves next season.

Catch up on past episodes of The Voice on NBC and Peacock.  

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