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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. 

By Jill Sederstrom

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's just known by one word: Reba. But many artists have show names, so some may wonder if there's more to the story with Reba.

What Is Reba McEntire's Real Name?

Technically, Reba Nell McEntire is her full name.

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The newest Coach on The Voice and a legend in the music industry, she was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 28, 1955. 

McEntire was bestowed the now-famous moniker by her parents, Jackie and Clark McEntire, in honor of her maternal grandmother, Reba Smith. 

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 "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 a 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."

McEntire got an early start in music, forming the group the Singing McEntires with her siblings Pake and Susie while she was still in high school, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where she was inducted as a member in 2011.

After the early foray into the music business, the “Fancy” singer has gone on to hit many high notes during her four decade-long 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 a long-standing run on her popular sitcom Reba

The series, which premiered in 2001 and focused on the struggles of a witty single mom trying to keep her family together, ran for six seasons.

Although she’s clearly already secured her place as a household name, McEntire will become a fixture in living rooms across America next season on The Voice as she takes over Coach Blake Shelton’s chair on the singing competition. 

McEntire already got her feet wet last season serving as the mega mentor for all four teams. 

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"I'm looking forward to being here with you all,” she said of joining the show as a Coach. “You've treated me all so nicely and I appreciate the hospitality so much that you've shown me ... to be able to come in and form my own team, I'm so looking forward to it."

We’re eagerly awaiting to see who will be part of the very first Team Reba.

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