Reba McEntire, who is now 67, isn’t letting anything slow her down. Her onscreen career is ramping up and joining her in two of her latest projects is her boyfriend and former CSI star Rex Linn.
I’m a country music fan, and Reba has always been one of my favourite musicians. But also, there’s nothing I love more than watching women bounce back from divorces, which I also discuss here. Watching her make a triumphant comeback after her devastating split from her former manager Narvel Blackstock in 2015 to find love again and step back into her element has made her one of my favourite people.
In October of 2015, McEntire announced on social media that she and Blackstock had finalized their divorce after 26 years of marriage. While she insisted they were still friendly and that the split was amicable, rumours started swirling immediately after they officially parted ways that he was dating Laura Putty Stroud, Reba’s close friend. Yes, the whole ordeal is giving Shania Twain and Mutt Lange.
Despite his own success as a musician, manager and TV producer, Reba McEntire’s $95 million net worth, with no prenup being in place, was fertile ground for Blackstock to walk away with much of her fortune. And that he did.
Blackstock reportedly received a $47.5 million settlement following their divorce. And despite the massive payout, and budding relationship with her close friend, Reba kept it moving.
“Every time I have seen Reba since the split, she has been in great spirits and focused as ever on her work. Reba’s a pro,” a source told Page Six just months after the split. “She’s not going to air her personal life in public.”
It’s totally on brand with the way she looks at life. In a 2016 discussion with CMT, she said, “The divorce was not my idea. I didn’t want it in any shape, form or fashion. So it was really hard to make the adjustment. When someone’s not happy, I just want everybody to be happy in their lives because our lives are too short to be miserable, so I just thought it was the best thing to take my marbles, go play somewhere else.”
Unlike me after my split, McEntire was able to maintain a level of peace, calm and understanding, things she attributes to her faith, though she certainly had questions:
"I have a long list and so many questions for God. Why did this happen? And how did you allow that?" she questioned during an interview. "God's way is the best way. And it seems to me that Narvel is happier and I'm in a really good state of mind. It's taken me this time to pull through why and how. And there's been a lot between us and I believe that to forgive is easier than forget."
And while she doesn’t name Narvel’s transgressions, she alluded to them during the conversation:
"I can never forget some of what he did," she said. "But going on with life is what's really important. And my faith helped me with that. I think about what God wants me to do. Faith is really important. It keeps me sane and it keeps me hopeful."
So it’s no wonder that McEntire has found love again. McEntire met Linn on the set of The Luck of the Draw. She appeared on an episode of Watch What Happens Live and had this to say:
“We’ve kept in contact with each other over the years, and we both know the same people, so it was just like good friends getting back together having dinner in January.”
She went on to explain that texting and talking on the phone during the pandemic allowed them to get to know each other better. Earlier this year, Reba and Narvel’s son, Shelby, got married and saw his parents reunite. According to guests, there was no hostility or tension in the air – and she was just totally enamored with her date, Linn.
“You got to express your anger. Then you have room for more positive things,” this article quotes the country star saying. “If I hold something in a long time, and then I speak it, it’s amazing how the light shines so much brighter.”
While she seems to have moved on from the pain of her divorce, the lessons, much like Narvel’s betrayals, won’t be something she’ll easily forget. And while we don’t know if there will be wedding bells anytime soon, though she admits to having discussions about it with Linn, we can certainly hope there will be a prenup.