It has been 45 years since Reba McEntire broke into the country genre with her self-titled debut record. The 11-track collection propelled the Oklahoma native into the spotlight in 1977, and she hasn’t stepped out since.
To celebrate the career milestone, the legend jumped on social media Monday (Aug. 15) evening to share the album cover art. Along with the old-school graphic that displays her signature red hair, she leaked a Grand Ole Opry performance video of her singing “Why Can’t He Be You.”
“Happy 45th anniversary to the album that started it all, Reba McEntire!” she wrote in the caption. “On my first recorded Grand Ole Opry performance on April 25, 1978, I sang “Why Can’t He Be You” from this album. Thanks to @opry for sharing this footage!” she added with gratitude.
With elegance and poise, the icon planted her feet within the sacred circle to deliver the timeless tune that helped place her name on the map. Her down-home sound and chest-driven yodeling elevated the act and displayed McEntire’s superstar potential.
“He does all the things that you would never do | He loves me too | His love is true | But why can’t he be you | Oh he’s not the one who dominates my mind and my soul,” McEntire effortlessly delivers the classic.
Country music fans flooded the comment section with praise and congratulatory messages.
“One of my favorites!! Dear @opry please release more footage of Reba on the Opry! We love it. Happy 45th Anniversary,” shared a follower. “Hard to believe 45 years have passed, and Reba looks and sounds better than ever. Beautiful,” added another one.
McEntire was discovered in 1974, following a remarkable rendition of the national anthem at a Rodeo final in Oklahoma City. Country singer-songwriter Red Steagall saw the fire burning within McEntire and financed a recording session. At the time, McEntire was in a sibling band with her brother Pake and sister Susie. It wasn’t long under the powerhouse vocalist inked a deal with Mercury Records in 1975. While rubbing elbows with notable names in the industry, McEntire continued to compete in rodeos as a barrel racer.
Upon signing the career-altering contract, McEntire released her introduction LP. The impressive catalog includes fan favorites – “Glad I Waited Just for You,” “Angel in Your Arms,” “Invitation to the Blues,” and more. However, it wasn’t until 1978 that she hit the Top Twenty with “Three Sheets in the Wind” with Jacky Ward. Her sophomore album “Out of a Dream” made McEntire a mainstay on the charts with “Sweet Dreams” and “Last Night, Ev’ry Night.”
The songstress released six full-length projects with Mercury, until she made a significant leap to MCA Records. Under MCA, the fearless trailblazer dropped 18 albums. While navigating through the country music landscape – McEntire scored her first CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, was inducted into the Opry in 1986, and sold-out New York’s Carnegie Hall.
To date, the country sensation has 50 Top 10 singles under her belt, sold more than 85 million records, and has become one of the best-selling female musicians in history. McEntire continues to keep up the positive momentum, as she is gearing up to embark on her nationwide tour. The platinum-selling performer called in Terri Clark to join in on the 17-city arena trek as direct support.
“I can’t wait to see everyone out on the road again this fall,” shared McEntire in a statement. “We had so much fun in the spring, and I’m ready to get back out there with my buddy Terri Clark!”
The hitmaker is slated to kick-start the tour in mid-October and wrap in November. Tickets are available for purchase, here.