Reba McEntire’s Super Bowl national anthem prep included singing in shower

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Reba McEntire is gearing up for the performance of a lifetime.

The NFL announced last month the country music legend will be taking the stage prior to the Super Bowl to sing the national anthem. 

In a press conference in Las Vegas Thursday, McEntire spoke about how much she loves the city and that she’s “tickled to pieces” to be part of the first Super Bowl there.

“I have never sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl. I am honored beyond words to be chosen to get to sing it. It means that I get to sing a very special song for all Americans, people all around the world who have really worked so hard for our freedom and to give us peace,” she said.


Reba McEntire then and now

McEntire is going to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. (Getty Images)

“It’s not about me. I’m the representation of this song, and I’m just honored to get to sing it. It’s a good one. I’ve been doing it for 50 years, and I’m really proud to get to sing it.” 


When it comes to preparing for the big day, the superstar joked she’s “preparing by being prepared.”

“I’ve been singing the national anthem in the shower, when we get in the car. Rex, my boyfriend, is a huge football fan, played all sports when he was going to school. And, so, he’ll say, ‘OK, sing it one more time.’ I’ll say, ‘I think I know the words real good right now, so I’m all right,'” she said.

“But just to be prepared and know that everybody’s going to be singing it with me. That helps,” she continued. “If I know that they’re singing along, and they’re remembering and having fun too, that’s easier on me. Just be prepared when you walk out there.” 

This year’s Super Bowl pregame show will feature additional performances in a star-studded lineup. Rapper Post Malone will follow McEntire’s performance with “America the Beautiful,” and singer Andre Day will be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Reba McEntire at the Super Bowl press conference

McEntire is excited to be part of the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl has consistently been one of the most watched sports events in the United States, drawing in millions of viewers each year. In 2023, over 115 million viewers tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles.


After first being discovered 50 years ago, the country music icon has won three Grammy Awards, 19 Academy of Country Music Awards, seven CMA Awards and nine People’s Choice Awards.

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Here is her journey from barrel racing in Oklahoma to the Super Bowl stage. 

Life on the ranch and singing with her siblings

Reba McEntire in 1976

McEntire grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma with her parents and three siblings. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

McEntire grew up with her parents and three siblings on her family’s 8,000-square-foot ranch in Oklahoma. She spent her childhood going to the rodeo and watching her father, who was a world champion steer roper in 1957, 1958 and 1961, compete. She even competed herself in barrel racing from the age of 11 to 21.

According to her website, McEntire’s mother, Jacqueline, had aspirations to become a country singer before pursuing a career as a schoolteacher. She would pass on her musical talents to her kids, teaching them how to harmonize. McEntire and her siblings formed The Singing McEntires.

As a band, the siblings toured rodeos, dance halls and clubs.

“Because when we were rodeoing, we didn’t have a radio. We didn’t have an air conditioner. We barely had an armrest. So, mama, to keep us kids out of trouble, we would sing. And mama taught us four-part harmony,” she said in a June 2022 episode of the “Biscuits & Jam” podcast. “Mama was a great singer; until the day she died, she could sing.” 


Reba McEntire and her mom hugging

McEntire said her mom taught her and her siblings how to harmonize while driving to and from the rodeo. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

The songstress was going to follow in her mother’s footsteps, getting a degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a minor in music before being discovered in 1974.

Slow start and breakthrough

Reba McEntire performing on the Tonight Show in 1981

McEntire was discovered while singing the national anthem at a rodeo in 1974.  (Gene Arias/NBC via Getty Images)

In 1974, McEntire sang the national anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City, catching the eye of singer Red Steagall, who was also performing at the event. Soon after, the singer found herself recording with Steagall in Nashville, and he landed her a deal with Polygram Mercury Records in November 1975.

“I knew nothing about the music business, and I was really missing my rodeo family,” McEntire told the “Biscuits & Jam” podcast. She added that she was “wondering if I was going to be torn away from them completely.”  

“I made a lot of excuses to stop. You know, ‘I have to use the bathroom’ or ‘Can we get something to drink?’. And finally, [her mother] got fed up with it, and she said, ‘You know, Reba, if you don’t want to do this, we don’t have to do it. We can just turn around and go home,'” she explained. 

“She said, ‘But if you go through with it, I just want you to know that I’ll be living all my dreams through you.’ I said, ‘Well, shoot. Why didn’t you say that in the first place? Let’s go.'”

McEntire struggled to find success in the early days of her career, with her first two singles barely cracking the top 100 and her first three albums not even charting. Her fourth album peaked at No. 42, and her fifth reached No. 22 on the charts and featured her first two No. 1 hits, “Can’t Even Get the Blues” and “You’re The First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving.”

In the years to come, she continued to release hit after hit. In 1984, she won her first CMA Award for female vocalist of the year, going on to win in that category three more consecutive years. In 1986, she was named CMA’s entertainer of the year and became a member of The Grand Ole Opry.

With more than 75 million records sold worldwide and 25 No. 1 hits in her career, McEntire is one of the most successful female country music artists of all time and is a member of Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. She is one of only four entertainers in history to receive a National Artistic Achievement Award from Congress.

Some of her most popular songs include “You Lie,” “Rumor Has It,” “Fancy,” “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,””The Fear of Being Alone,” “I’d Rather Ride Around With You,” “Somebody,” “Strange” and “Consider Me Gone.”

Acting career

Reba McEntire on set of her show "Reba"

McEntire starred in the sitcom “Reba” for six seasons, starting in 2001. (Michael Caulfield Archive/WireImage)

After finding success in the music industry, McEntire decided to try out acting, appearing in “Tremors,” “The Little Rascals,” “The Man From Left Field” and “The Fox and the Hound 2.”

Following her Broadway debut playing Annie Oakley in a 2001 production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” the songstress began starring in her own sitcom, “Reba.” The show ran for six seasons, coming to an end in 2007. 

“The TV business changes so much that sometimes reboots are hot, and then they’re not,” McEntire told Deadline in August 2022 about a potential “Reba” reboot. “Plus, getting everyone scheduled together is also hard. Steve Howie is very busy, and so is Joanna Garcia. Melissa [Peterman] is doing wonderful, and here we are making a movie together. I guess timing and schedule will dictate that in the future.”


She starred in the short-lived sitcom, “Malibu Country,” later making appearances in “Baby Daddy” and “Young Sheldon.” 

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn on Big Sky

McEntire starred in the final season of “Big Sky” with her boyfriend Rex Linn. (Michael Moriatis/ABC via Getty Images)

Most recently, McEntire starred alongside her boyfriend, Rex Linn, in the last season of “Big Sky.” 

“When Elwood Reid, the showrunner, was Zooming with me, telling me his idea for me being on the show, he said, ‘You’re going to play a dark character. What do you think about that?’ And Rex was sitting right over there at the kitchen table. He walked by, and he said, ‘Elwood, that’s perfect. That’s exactly what she needs to be doing,'” she told Entertainment Weekly in September 2022.

“And Elwood said, ‘Rex, well, she needs a husband on the TV show,'” she continued. “It all worked out for Rex and I to work together. We’ve been having such a good time on it.”

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Family Life

Reba McEntire and her son Shelby Blackstock on the red carpet

McEntire has one son, Shelby, with her ex-husband, Narvel Blackstock. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

McEntire was first married to rancher Charlie Battles, from 1976 to 1987. Two years after they split, she married Narvel Blackstock in 1989.

During their marriage, Blackstock took over as her manager, later forming managing group Starstruck Entertainment, which has since grown to represent Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Maggie Rose and others. The two were married for 26 years before announcing their separation in 2015, finalizing their divorce in October of that year.

Following her divorce from Blackstock, McEntire took complete control of her business and career, saying it was then when she “started realizing how much water cost, and the electric bill, and all the things that was going on in my life.”

“Everything that I was dealing with privately, personally — I had to run it all through God,” she said on the Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk experience in October 2021. “I had to say, ‘OK, big boy, I can’t handle this. This is way over my pay grade.I don’t know what to do.’ And I would wait, and He would guide me. And so, without my faith, I have no idea where I would be or my career would be at this time today.”


Reba McEntire with her family all dressed in black

McEntire’s stepson married Kelly Clarkson, making the singer her daughter-in-law for a short time. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

Together, they welcomed their son Shelby, and McEntire became the stepmother to Blackstock’s three children, Chassidy, Shawna and Brandon. Brandon was married to Kelly Clarkson from 2013 to 2021, making McEntire her mother-in-law for a short time.

After her two-year relationship with photographer Anthony Lasuzzo ended in 2019, McEntire began a relationship with Rex Linn in 2020. The two first met in 1991 on the set of “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw,” and reconnected when she guest starred on his show, “Young Sheldon.”


“It was a very special relationship, us getting to know each other without any physical aspect to it at all,” McEntire said on an October 2021 episode of her podcast, “Living & Learning with Reba McEntire.” 

“We’d talk in the morning. We started ‘Coffee Camp’ while I was staying in Oklahoma. … We haven’t missed a ‘coffee camp’ since March 16.”

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn at America's Got Talent

McEntire and Linn started dating in 2020 after originally meeting in 1991. (Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)


“Coffee camp” is the name the couple gave their morning coffee dates, whether they took place in person together or over the phone.

Linn added, “I was in California, she was in Tennessee and sometimes my ‘coffee camp’ started at 3 a.m., but, man, I have never missed one; I don’t wanna miss one.”

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