Red Steagall, then a recording artist for Capitol Records, heard her singing the national anthem at the National Rodeo finals in 1974 and was so impressed that he offered to back a recording session for her in Nashville . This led to her signing with Mercury Records in 1975. In May of 1976, Reba made her debut on Billboard's country singles chart with "I Don't Want to Be a One-Night Stand." The single one reached to No. 88 on the charts and fell off them entirely after five weeks. She charted steadily after that and scored a Top 10 record in 1980 with "(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven" which climbed to No. 8. In her next three years with Mercury -- she switched to MCA in 1984 -- she gained momentum via singles that routinely landed in Top 10 and Top 5 territory. Two of her Mercury singles made it all the way to No. 1: "Can't Even Get the Blues" (1983) and "You're the First Time I've Thought About Leaving" (1984). It took her three singles with MCA to go No. 1, but she did it with the late 1984 release of "How Blue."
Every year from 1984 through 1987, she won the Country Music Association's female vocalist of the year award. In 1986, she was voted CMA's entertainer of the year. She won Grammys in 1986 and 1993 for best female country vocal performance and best country vocal collaboration, respectively. Her singles continued to hit No. 1 regularly. Between 1985 and 1997, she had 17 No. 1's and another 15 Top 5s. She also put to rest the myth that women in country music couldn't sell albums. To date, she has sold over 40 million.
During the 1990s, she mounted one of the most elaborate concert shows in any kind of music, one that involved multi-tiered stage sets, a flying platform and a troupe of dancers.
She issued the third volume of her MCA hits in 2002, followed by the studio album Room to Breathe in 2003. That album contained her first No. 1 solo hit in seven years, "Somebody." To capitalize on her renewed chart success, MCA issued the two-disc set, Reba #1's, in 2005.
“Reba #1's” is a celebration of a career that has included 33 #1 songs, 29 albums, multiple awards and countless shows and performances. This album is a collection of the songs country music fans have known and loved for over two decades.
Reba is also a multiple award winner in the acting arena. Her critically acclaimed Broadway debut in 2001's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN was awarded both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics awards. Now in its fifth season, her self-titled TV show, REBA, reigns as the WB's top rated sitcom, and has landed Reba a Golden Globe nomination and a People's Choice Award.
In 1990, she played a major supporting role in the movie Tremors, which starred Kevin Bacon. Her other feature films and TV movies include North, The Little Rascals, The Gambler Returns, The Man From Left Field, Buffalo Girls, Is There Life Out There, Forever Love and One Night at McCool's.
On August 30, 2007, she received two CMA nominations: Female Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year. With those two nominations plus another in 2008, Reba became the female artist with the most nominations (forty-six) in the forty-two year history of the CMA Awards, surpassing Dolly Parton, who has forty-three.
Most recently, Reba debuted a single from her upcoming album yet to be released or named at the 2009 Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, 2009. A song called "Strange". received positive reviews with Billboard calling the song "a delicious performance from one of country music's most gifted divas." The song debuted at #39 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart giving her the highest single debut of her career, and the first in the Top 40. The song is also Reba's fastest rising single of her career.
“Whatever I'm doing, I feel like I'm representing country music,” Reba says. “It's always been my main career, and it's where my loyalties lie. I feel like I'm waving the flag of country music wherever I go, and I couldn't be prouder to do it.”
Reba McEntire has succeeded so well because she knows what's important: sharing her heart, and touching other people's hearts.