She’s one of the most successful artists in country music history, with more than 41 million records sold in the US and over 30 number one country singles. She’s also a proven Broadway and television actress with a Golden Globe nomination. Reba McEntire, “The Queen of Country,” has been in show business for more than 35 years, yet shows no signs of slowing down. On November 9th, 2010, she’ll release her 34th album, All The Woman I Am, and has another important project soon to be released.
Reba Nell McEntire was born in Oklahoma in March 1955. Her father and grandfather were champion steer ropers, and her mother taught Reba, brother Pake, and sister Susie to sing harmonies on road trips; Pake went on to have a country career in the late 1980s, best known for the song “Saving My Love For You,” and Susie is a successful gospel singer. Discovered by country artist Red Steagall at an Oklahoma rodeo, he offered to help her become an artist in Nashville; the resulting demo tape got her a recording contract with Mercury Records.
With Mercury from 1976 to 1983, McEntire released six albums. Her third album, Feel The Fire (1980), earned her the first Top Ten single of her career, “You Lift Me Up (To Heaven).” Her fifth album, Unlimited (1982), included her first number one song, “Can’t Even Get The Blues.” McEntire, however, was not happy with Mercury’s push for more pop sounds, and left the label in 1983.
McEntire signed with MCA Records in 1984, and became part of the “New Traditionalist” movement in country music – young performers who wanted to take country music back to its roots. Her second MCA album, My Kind of Country, was exactly that – songs hand-picked by McEntire, cheered on by label president Jimmy Bowen, who went on to become her co-producer for many albums.
Throughout her career, McEntire has been both cheered and chided by critics for some of her musical decisions, particularly those that took her to the edge of pop where she initially feared to tread. Songs like “Sunday Kind of Love,” Cathy’s Clown,” and “Fancy,” all early pop and blues tunes, sounded perfect for McEntire no matter what direction she went in.
McEntire left MCA Records in November 2008 and signed with Valory Records. Her direction on her first album with the label, Keep On Loving You, was still in the country-pop sound she’s become known for. She did earn her first number one track since 2003 with the release of “Consider Me Gone,” which stayed at the top of the charts for four weeks.
McEntire’s new album features the first single, “Turn On The Radio.” McEntire will also be featured on the upcoming release Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn, due in stores on the same day as All The Woman I Am. With artists hand-picked by Lynn herself, the album features a diverse group, including Kid Rock, Alan Jackson, The White Stripes, Gretchen Wilson, and Sheryl Crow.
Source: “Artists Announced for the All-Star November 9 Release of “Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn,” rebanet.com