Forty years ago, Reba McEntire stepped onto a stage she’d dreamt about her whole life. Standing on under the bright lights of the Grand Ole Opry, the significance of the event was not lost on her. And forty years later, the significance of her performance is not lost on the Grand Ole Opry. To celebrate the milestone, they created an amazing Reba McEntire Opry tribute video that includes past performances, interviews, and even a duet rehearsal with Carrie Underwood

Reminiscing With Old Friends

Opry tribute video
Reba McEntire, ca. 2015
courtesy BMLG FREE

McEntire celebrated her 40th Opry anniversary with fellow friends and colleagues, including Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. The Opry video includes footage from the night of the anniversary, including Parton reminiscing about McEntire’s first performance there. McEntire planned to do two songs her first night, but Parton arrived at the Opry. When she showed up, they gave her one of Reba’s slots. At the anniversary performance, she told McEntire that she was “just there to give [that spot] back to her.”

Reba does some reminiscing herself in the video. In one interview, she admitted that she only thought she’d ever sing on that famous stage in her dreams. She went on to speak about all the Opry has meant to her through the years. “I remember how thrilled I was to get to become a member of the Opry,” she recalled. “I was crying like a baby. It was just so special.”

Queen of Sad Songs

Opry tribute video


Reba McEntire (photo from Billboard)

The night she became an Opry member, Reba sang “Somebody Should Leave.” In her interview, she said she didn’t know why she picked such a sad song but noted that she is the “queen of sad songs.” And she’s correct. She does have quite a few ballads of heartbreak. But as she pointed out, “Country music is sad.”

Other video highlights include her duet practice with Carrie Underwood. Underwood joined McEntire for part of Reba’s Opry anniversary performance. The pair sang McEntire’s smash hit, “Does He Love You.” On stage that night, McEntire remarked how neat it was to have two Oklahoma gals there together.

History and Tradition

One of Reba’s last comments from the video was about the power of the Ryman circle. The Grand Ole Opry broadcast for years from the Ryman Auditorium. When it moved locations, the new stage contained a circle of wood from the original stage. McEntire described standing on that circle. “It’s like the energy from the floor coming up through the soles of your boots up into your body, into your soul, into your heart. It’s history, it’s tradition, it’s power. And you don’t take it for granted.”  

You can watch the entire Opry tribute video below.

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