1991: Reba Performs Emotional Tribute After Losing Her Band In Plane Crash
One of the most heartbreaking moments in country music history happened in 1991 when Reba lost 8 of her bandmates in a plane crash.
The singer remembers the late musicians every year on the anniversary of the crash, and she recently dedicated a tour to the 8 bandmates and crew members who lost their lives on March 16, 1991.
The plane was traveling from San Diego to Fort Wayne, Indiana for their next show when the tip of the plane’s wing hit a rock on the side of a mountain causing the fatal crash. Reba was not on the plane during that specific flight due to sickness which resulted in the singer delaying her flight. Reba, her husband Narvel, and her stylist stayed behind at the hotel planning to catch up with the band later, completely unaware of the tragedy that was about to take place.
McEntire remembers the tragedy every year on the anniversary.
Reba talks about the group every year in remembrance of the incident that took the lives of those eight passengers.
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She opened up in 2012 about the crash and what followed sharing details of that tragic night with Oprah Winfrey.
“One of them took off, and when the other one took off, the tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane. When we were notified, Narvel went and met with our pilot, and he told us what had happened,” Reba remembered. “And Narvel came back to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three o’clock in the morning — and he said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they OK?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘But you’re not sure?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.'”
Reba recalled many country music friends such as Vince Gill and Dolly Parton who offered to lend a helping hand after the tragedy. Many stars even offered their bands to help Reba finish up her tour even though she had no intention of finishing it.
“It was a huge outpour of friends and the community, family, that were there for us, but nobody could replace the ones that we love so much that we lost,” she shared “And that’s one of the questions I’ll ask God when I get up there: Why’d you take them so quick? They had so much more to give, and we had so much more to learn from them.”
Reba took the stage less than two months later to receive the ACM Award for Female Vocalist of the Year. McEntire honored her band members in the tearful moment at the awards show. Her next album after the accident, For My Broken Heart, was dedicated to the group. She later performed the title song, “For My Broken Heart,” at the CMA Awards in September of the same year.
Watch Reba’s emotional CMA performance in the video below.