"So when you have that kind of help, you can just do about anything," McEntire said.
Reba McEntire's mother, Jacqueline, has always been one of the singer's biggest fans, ever since she saw her perform in elementary school. McEntire spoke candidly to Willie Geist on the Sunday Sitdown episode from April 23 about her mother's encouragement to pursue music and the words that gave her the guts to do so. As a child, McEntire shared, she grew up singing with her family, per TODAY. "We didn’t have radio in the car. It was four kids in the backseat, rough-housin’ and, you know — Mama would get us to sing to pass the time," she said. "We were the Singing McEntires."
"I wanted attention," McEntire said. "And I figured out the best kind of attention I could get was when I would sing. Not running barrels, not playing basketball, but singing. That’s when everybody kind of leaned forward and listened a little bit more."https://t.co/0H6KIA5ba3— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 23, 2023
However, McEntire told Geist that after she gave a performance at a Christmas show at Kiowa High School in her native Oklahoma, she observed that people started to pay attention to her more. "I wanted attention," she said. "And I figured out the best kind of attention I could get was when I would sing. Not running barrels, not playing basketball, but singing. That’s when everybody kind of leaned forward and listened a little bit more."
McEntire particularly recalled her mother's words to her just before her performance. "Well, Mama was encouraging me, saying, 'It’ll be fine. You can do it.' And so when you have that kind of help, you can just do about anything," McEntire said. The Does He Love You singer thought about her mother a lot after she made it great in the music business and decided to try her hand at acting. She recalled that McEntire's mother used to remark that she "had the attention span of a 2-year-old."
"So, I have to have different things," McEntire said. "I do something so long, do the same thing, I get bored."
She claimed that her initial motivation for acting was an "itch," but she eventually went on to appear in the popular sitcom Reba, which ran for six seasons. McEntire claims that her role in Annie Get Your Gun gave her the "credentials" necessary to be a sitcom star. "I didn't know anything about that business," she said. Having just finished her most recent tour at Madison Square Garden, McEntire admitted to getting "emotional," in part because it was her first time playing the arena. "It holds such history for me and my family," she said. "Grandpap roped there during the rodeo in the ‘30s. Daddy roped there during the rodeo in the ‘40s. And it felt like they were with us there at Madison Square Garden."
The act had to go on, she declared, even with mascara dripping down her cheeks. "The adoration or the acceptance — everybody wants to be loved and accepted, I’m no different," she said. "I mean, we’re up there on the stage, razzle-dazzle, but we’re very insecure people on the inside. And after the second song, the applause went on for a long time."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Phillip Faraone