In the 1980s and 1990s, Reba McEntire put out one hit song after another, solidifying herself as one of country music’s preeminent superstars. She earned the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year honor four consecutive years, from 1984-1987. In 1986, she also took home the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year honor, as well as a Grammy award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female (for “Whoever’s In New England”). She also began filming music videos that more closely resembled mini-movies in her works for songs such as “Whoever’s In New England” and “Fancy.” She also proved herself as a multi-medium star, making her film acting debut in 1990 with the movie Tremors.
On July 20, 1992, Reba McEntire’s album For My Broken Heart was certified 2x multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)–the album would ultimately go on to be certified 4x multi-Platinum by 1999.
The album was released Oct. 1, 1991 on MCA Nashville, and was an intensely personal project for McEntire, as it marked the first album the vocalist recorded following a tragic airplane crash on March 16, 1991, that took the lives of eight members of her touring band and crew.
The project’s title track, also the album’s lead single, centers on a couple weathering a breakup, and packing up boxes. The song’s protagonist is left to ponder how even in the midst of heartbreak and grief, life goes on. The song became a No. 1 country hit for McEntire.
Three other tracks from the album also became signature Reba hits. “Is There Life Out There” became an anthem for women looking to return to school. The dramatic tale of “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (originally a hit for Vicki Lawrence in 1972) became an enduring classic, as did “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.”
Here CMT looks back on some of the album’s hits: