Very few people have had a career like Reba McEntire's.
Not only has the country music icon just released her 29th studio album, Stronger Than the Truth, but she's gearing up host the Academy of Country Music Awards live from Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7 for a landmark 16th time after first sharing the gig all the way back in 1986. Those impressive stats are indicative of the sort of unparalleled career the daughter of a rodeo champ has been able to carve out for herself.
Reba's truly done it all. Movies? Yep. Her own TV show? Two of 'em. Broadway? You betcha. A Vegas residency? Happening as we speak. A Kennedy Center Honor? With a career like this, one with 35 No. 1 singles and over 56 million albums sold, the only surprise was that it took as long as 2018 to give her the award for her lifetime artistic achievements.
Though she's undeniably one of the most recognizable entertainers in the world—you don't attain first-name-only level of celebrity by accident—she's always managed to maintain that level of homespun charm that's endeared her to fans for decades. No easy feat. "I'm the first to admit, I'm very competitive," she explained to the Saturday Evening Post in 2018. "I love to play games, and I love to win, but when I lose, I'm the first one to start clapping and say, 'Congratulations, now let's do it again, because I'm going to whip your butt.' I grew up on a working cattle ranch. My daddy and my grandpap were world champion cowboys. My brother and I were always competing, saying, 'Anything you can do I can do better.' You wanted to win, but it was also a game."
While Reba's undoubtedly won more games than she's lost in the four decades since she broke onto the country scene, her life hasn't been without its hardships. Not only has she found herself unlucky in love twice now, but the singer suffered a loss in 1991 that was devastating enough to sideline the toughest of us.
But not Reba.
The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards airs live Sunday, April 7 at 8 p.m. on CBS.