NEPA Scene Staff

Country music icon Reba McEntire performs at Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem on March 27

Country music icon Reba McEntire performs at Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem on March 27
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From a press release:

It was announced today that Grammy Award-winning country music icon and actress Reba McEntire, one of the most successful female recording artists in history, will perform at the Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem on Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. as part of her Reba: Live in Concert arena tour with rising Nashville star Caylee Hammack.

“I have always loved to entertain and to be entertained, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to head back out on the road and sing for the fans every night,” McEntire said. “We have so many talented females creating new music, and having Caylee join us will be a lot of fun!”

Lauded for the show-stopping, costume-evolving rendition of her classic hit “Fancy,” she slayed with “one of the night’s most talked-about moments” (New York Times) during the CMA Awards last month. Fans clamored with adoration online as media praised the iconic entertainer’s abilities as both co-host and performer. “Let’s be honest – nobody can top Reba!” Today raved.

Tickets, which are $89.50, $99.50, and $155, plus applicable fees, go on sale this Friday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. and will be available at, the Event Center box office (77 Wind Creek Blvd., Bethlehem), and all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 800-745-3000. A pre-sale for members of the venue’s Music Insiders Club will take place on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

On March 28, 1955, Reba Nell McEntire was born in McAlester, Oklahoma to Clark Vincent and Jacqueline Smith McEntire. The third of four children, she was raised on her family’s 8,000-acre family ranch in Chockie, Oklahoma and traveled frequently to watch her father compete at rodeos. Her dad was the World Champion Steer Roper in 1957, 1958, and 1961, an honor her grandfather John McEntire also won in 1934. She would later follow in the family tradition by participating in barrel racing competitions from the time she was 11 years old until she was 21. Her mother, a former schoolteacher and secretary to the superintendent of Kiowa High School, had once harbored dreams of being a country music singer. Instead, she had four children and taught them how to sing and harmonize on the long car trips.

While in high school, Reba joined her older brother Pake (who later had his own Country Music career) and younger sister Susie (who would grow up to become a Gospel singer) as members of the Kiowa High School Cowboy Band and recorded a single, “The Ballad of John McEntire,” for Boss Records in 1971. Her older sister Alice, runner-up to the IFR Barrel Racing Championship that same year, never sought a musical career, but was always a strong supporter of her family. Soon after, the three musical siblings formed their own group, The Singing McEntires, and performed frequently at rodeos, clubs, and dance halls. After high school ended, Reba went to college at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, later graduating in 1976 with a major in elementary education and a minor in music.

Reba sang the National Anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City on Dec. 10, 1974. Her performance so impressed Red Steagall, who was also performing at the event, that he invited her to Nashville to record demos for his music publishing company. After recording her during her spring break in March 1975, Steagall shopped her tapes around Nashville and secured her deal with Polygram Mercury Records in November.

Although her first recordings were not that successful, McEntire worked steadily to build her career. The first single, “I Don’t Want to Be a One Night Stand,” peaked at No. 88 in 1976, followed in 1977 by “(There’s Nothing Like the Love) Between a Woman and a Man” at No. 86 and “Glad I Waited Just For You” at No. 88, and her self-titled debut album, which did not chart at all. Despite the lack of initial chart success, she was invited to debut on the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 17, 1977, which happened to be 30 years to the day when her father won the All Around at the Pendleton, Oregon rodeo. Though her next two albums still would not chart, she began building momentum when she cracked the Top 20 with songs such as “Three Sheets in the Wind” (with Jacky Ward) and her cover of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.”

She achieved her first Top 10 hit when “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven” reached No. 8 in 1980, and she followed it with the Top 5 “Today All Over Again.” Showing career growth, her fourth album, “Heart to Heart,” became her first charting album, peaking at No. 42 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Her fifth album, “Unlimited,” eventually rose to No. 22 on the charts and featured her No. 3 hit “I’m Not That Lonely Yet,” as well as her first two No. 1 hits, “Can’t Even Get the Blues” and “You’re the First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving.”

McEntire moved to MCA Records in 1983 and released the album “Just a Little Love” one year later, featuring the Top 5 title cut. She wanted more control over her song selection and album production, so she was thrilled when label president Jimmy Bowen allowed her to make the album she wanted to make (she and Bowen would later co-produce several successful albums together). She released “My Kind of Country” in 1984 and hit No. 1 with its first single, “How Blue.” The album, which featured both new material and covers of songs originally recorded by Ray Price, Carl Smith, Connie Smith, and Faron Young, helped propel her to the forefront of the “New Traditionalists” alongside artists such as Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, and Randy Travis. The album also featured her No. 1 hit “Somebody Should Leave.”

Her success was rewarded in 1984, when she won the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award for the first time. She would go on to win this award for four consecutive years (1984-1987) and currently is tied with Martina McBride for the most wins in this category. The year 1986 brought further honors, as she joined the Grand Ole Opry in January and was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in October, an award that recognized her remarkable showmanship in concert.

By this time, McEntire was a bonafide country music superstar. Her 1986 album “Whoever’s in New England” was her first to be certified gold by the RIAA, and both the title cut and “Little Rock” became No. 1 hits. One year later, her “Greatest Hits” album became her first platinum-certified album (continuing to sell more than four million copies through the years). She continued to rule the charts with hit songs, including “The Last One to Know” and “Love Will Find Its Way to You.” But her album “Reba,” which contained the hits “Sunday Kind of Love,” “I Know How He Feels,” and “New Fool at an Old Game,” signaled a change towards a more pop-oriented style. She continued in this direction, scoring hits with songs such as “Cathy’s Clown” and “Walk On.”

Proving her business acumen, McEntire and her former husband/manager Narvel Blackstock created Starstruck Entertainment in 1988 to handle her management, booking, publicity, publishing, and more. The company went on to work with other artists as well, including Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. In 1990, she gave birth to a son, Shelby Steven McEntire Blackstock. She would later share stories from her life in her 1994 autobiography “Reba: My Story” and her 1999 book “Comfort from a Country Quilt.” Years later, she would expand her brand and oversee the creation and development of successful clothing, footwear, luggage, and home collection lines that are sold nationwide in Dillard’s.

After getting a taste of acting from her music videos, McEntire began exploring her options in Hollywood. She first appeared alongside Kevin Bacon and Michael Gross in the comic horror film “Tremors” in 1990. Over the years, she would continue with roles in movies such as “North” (1994), “The Little Rascals” (1994), and “One Night at McCool’s” (2001). She also appeared in a string of television movies, including “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw” with Kenny Rogers in 1991, “The Man From Left Field” with Burt Reynolds in 1993, “Is There Life Out There?” in 1994 (based on her hit song and music video), “Buffalo Girls” in 1995 (where she first played Annie Oakley), “Forever Love” in 1998 (also based on her hit song), and “Secret of Giving” in 1999. Her distinctive voice was heard as the goddess Artemis in the animated television series “Hercules” (1998), Betsy the cow in the movie “Charlotte’s Web” (2006), and Dixie the dog in the animated movie “The Fox and the Hound 2” (2006).

But she was never far away from the music, continuing to chart huge hits with “You Lie,” “Rumor Has It,” “Fancy,” “Is There Life Out There,” “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” “Take It Back,” “The Heart Won’t Lie” (a duet with Vince Gill), “Does He Love You” (a duet with Linda Davis, which won the 1994 CMA Vocal Event of the Year Award as well a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals), “Why Haven’t I Heard from You,” “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” “She Thinks His Name Was John,” “On My Own” (with Davis, Martina McBride, and Trisha Yearwood), “The Fear of Being Alone,” “I’d Rather Ride Around with You,” “How Was I to Know,” “Forever Love,” “If You See Him/If You See Her” (with Brooks and Dunn), and more. She also reached No. 2 on the Billboard Dance Singles chart with her remake of The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

In 2001, McEntire triumphed when she took over the role of Annie Oakley in the Broadway play “Annie Get Your Gun,” previously played in this revival by Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci, and Cheryl Ladd. She brought new life to the production, and with it came rave reviews, sold-out performances, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award.

After performing on Broadway from February through June, she moved to Los Angeles to begin her successful television sitcom “Reba” for the WB Network (later renamed the CW Network). The show debuted in October and remained in production for six seasons, signing off in February of 2007. The series grew even stronger and gained a larger audience through syndication reruns on the Lifetime Network and continued to play for a second round of syndication on ABC Family and CMT.

While starring in and producing the television series, McEntire continued to succeed in music with hit songs such as “I’m a Survivor” (the sitcom’s theme song), “I’m Gonna Take That Mountain,” “He Gets That from Me,” “My Sister,” and the No. 1 hit “Somebody.” In 2005, she participated in a special concert performance of “South Pacific” with Alec Baldwin and Brian Stokes Mitchell at Carnegie Hall that was filmed to air on “Great Performances” on PBS the following year.

In 2007, she released “Reba Duets,” an album that paired her with artists including Kenny Chesney (on “Every Other Weekend”) and Kelly Clarkson (on “Because of You”), as well as Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Don Henley, Carole King, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes, Justin Timberlake, and Trisha Yearwood. This became her first album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

After releasing a three-disc “50 Greatest Hits” album in 2008, she left her longtime home at MCA and moved to the Valory Music Label, reuniting her with label president Scott Borchetta. Her first album for her new label, “Keep on Loving You,” became her second album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart when it was released in 2009. The album’s first single, “Strange,” debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard Country Singles chart, the highest single chart debut and the fastest rising single of her career. In addition to the title cut, the album also featured “Consider Me Gone,” which topped the Billboard Country Singles chart for four consecutive weeks and became her longest-running No. 1 song ever. Her 2010 album, “All the Women I Am,” featured the hit singles “Turn on the Radio,” which became the first No. 1 hit from the new CD, and her remake of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy,” which she performed on the 44th annual CMA Awards that year.

During her 2011 All the Women I Am TOUR, both Pollstar and Billboard’s Boxscore (the touring industry’s leading trade outlets) named McEntire the No. 1 female country touring artist, selling a combined total of over nine million tickets in her career.

Her life and career were featured in the Reba: All the Women I Am Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Running from Aug. 9, 2013-June 22, 2014, the exhibit contained more than two dozen costumes, personal possessions, vintage photographs, and career-spanning audio and video.

In 2017, McEntire released her first-ever gospel album, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.” The two-disc, 20-song collection featured classic hymns as well as new inspirational anthems. It debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Country and Christian charts and earned her a Dove and Grammy award.

As one of the most successful female recording artists in history, McEntire has sold over 56 million albums worldwide and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. She has won 15 American Music Awards, 13 ACM Awards, nine People’s Choice Awards, seven CMA Awards, two Grammys, an ACM Career Achievement Honor, and is one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress. Her reign of No. 1 hits spans four decades and Billboard, Country Aircheck, and Mediabase recognized her as the biggest female hitmaker in country music history.