Grammy award-winning country music singer Reba McEntire was raised on a ranch in Oklahoma, where her father competed in rodeos. Immersed in Southern country culture from birth, McEntire learned to ride as well as to sing from an early age, and she formed a singing group with her brother and sister when she was young called the Singing McEntires. She enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant in the mid-'70s, where she majored in teaching, but in 1975, after singing a crowd-pleasing rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" at a local rodeo, McEntire was inspired to travel to Nashville to pursue a music career. She scored a major-label record deal and released her first album the same year she got married.
It took a few years for her career to truly take off, but by the mid-'80s, McEntire was one of the most successful country singers in the industry. Though she was divorced in 1987, she remarried Narvel Blackstock, her then-manager and steel guitar player in 1989. Soon, the singer decided to branch out in her creative pursuits, appearing in the horror comedy Tremors with Kevin Bacon in 1990, the same year she gave birth to her son. Her warmth and charisma shone through onscreen, and McEntire began to cultivate a second career in acting, appearing in projects like 1994's North and 1995's Buffalo Girls. In 2001, the singer decided to switch career focuses for a while and pursue acting full-time, playing a single mom on her own sitcom, Reba. The show was a huge hit, earned her a Golden Globe nomination, and would continue to run for six seasons. She attempted to return to television in 2012 on ABC's Malibu Country, but the show was cancelled after the first season.