Reba Mourns Bandmates 29 Years After Fatal Plane Crash
Reba McEntire / Instagram, OWN / YouTube
While promoting her 1990 album Rumor Has It, Reba McEntire and her band flew all over the country to perform the hit songs that the album produced, including “Fancy.”
The tour took them to San Diego, California, where they performed a private concert for an IBM company conference. Just a few hours after their 75-minute set, a private plane heading to Fort Wayne, Indiana for their next show carrying members of Reba’s band including fiddler Chris Austin, band leader Kirk Cappello, keyboardist Joey Cigainero, backup singer Paula Kaye Evans, tour manager Jim Hammon, bassist Terry Jackson, drummer Anthony Saputo, and guitarist Michael Thomas crashed into the side of Otay Mountain.
The crash killed everyone on board including the two pilots. Reba was incredibly close to each member of her band and considered them part of her family.
“By far this is my darkest hour, the most awful thing that ever happened in my life,” Reba told People Magazine just days after the crash. “When you have eight people that you absolutely love and their lives are just wiped out – it’s devastating.”
She often pays tribute to her friends on the anniversary of the plane crash. Four years ago, she was actually in San Diego and took a helicopter to the plane crash site to pay her respects.
The year after the crash, Reba released an album titled For My Broken Heart and dedicated it to her friends who lost their lives.
On March 14, 2020 Reba announced on Instagram that her beloved mother, Jacqueline McEntire, had passed away at the age of 93 after a battle with cancer.
“She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely ready to go. The cancer might think it won the battle but we’re giving God all the credit on selecting the time for her to go home to Him. She was ready to see our Daddy, her mama and daddy and all her family and friends,” she wrote on social media.
On the 29th anniversary of the plane crash – March 16, 2020 – Reba once again mourned the loss of her friends turned family – her beloved band, and commented of the timing of her mom’s passing.
“29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash.” she wrote. “The timing of Mama’s passing with that anniversary seems appropriate. I know they’re all in Heaven together and taking care of each other. Let’s keep finding ways to take care of each other down here on earth and never take one moment with our loved ones for granted.”
Our hearts go out to Reba, her family, as well as the families of her late band members. Watch her heartbreaking interview about the crash in the video below.