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The Full Story Behind Country Icon Reba McEntire's Name
The Queen of Country, Reba McEntire, got her now-famous moniker from a particularly inspirational family member.
It’s one of the most recognizable names in show business, and for good reason: Reba McEntire just rolls off the tongue. In fact, most of the time, she just goes by Reba.
After the early foray into the music business, the “Fancy” singer has gone on to hit many high notes during her four-decade career with more than 75 million records sold worldwide and a staggering 25 No. 1 hits. She’s joined the ranks of pop culture icons like Oprah and Madonna, who only need to be known by their first name, as a result of her chart-topping music (and epic music videos) along with her long-standing run on the popular sitcom Reba and current role as a Coach on The Voice Season 24.
Many artists have stage names, so some may wonder if there's more to the story with McEntire's title. Below, learn more about McEntire's mythic solo moniker.
What Is Reba McEntire's Real Name?
Technically, Reba Nell McEntire is her full name.
The Season 24 Voice Coach was born in McAlester, Oklahoma, on March 28, 1955. McEntire was bestowed the now-famous name by her parents, Jackie and Clark McEntire, in honor of her maternal grandmother, Reba Smith.
"My grandma was a very spiritual woman. Her name was Reba Smith. That's my mama's mama," McEntire told CountryLiving.com in 2016. "My daddy's mama died before my oldest sister Alice was born.”
The first name wasn’t the only thing her grandmother passed down to the Grammy-winning singer while she was growing up on an 8,000-acre cattle ranch in Chockie, Oklahoma.
“Grandma Reba taught me about the love of Jesus,” McEntire shared. “To me, that's the most important thing she could've ever taught me."
Reba McEntire Is Loving Coaching Team Reba on The Voice Season 24
Although she secured her place as a household name, McEntire has become a fixture in living rooms across America on Season 24 of The Voice alongside Coaches Niall Horan, Gwen Stefani, and John Legend. McEntire had some big cowboy boots to fill after taking over Coach Blake Shelton’s chair, but Team Reba is killing it during McEntire's debut as a Coach.
As Team Reba fans everywhere cross their fingers for a win, McEntire has been keeping her eyes on the prize. In an October 2023 interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, McEntire revealed that Legend is major competition.
"John's got a great knack for picking great singers," McEntire gushed. "And when we're with our backs to the singers that come on to audition, I'm always looking at John, to see if John's going to hit that button!"
With decades of expertise, McEntire has proven to be one of the most insightful Coaches the competition has seen. McEntire will return as a Coach for Season 25 of The Voice — so she is just getting started.
"I'm really having a wonderful time," McEntire told Newsweek in September 2023. "[The Voice] is a well-oiled machine, so getting in at this time is marvelous. Everybody knows the game plan, from the crew, the producers. Everybody on the show is so nice, so sweet, and have been so helpful. I'm loving it."
Originally published Jun 23, 2023.