Our hearts go out to country legend Reba McEntire as she mourns the loss of a beloved friend.
Kelley Sallee Snead was a singer and songwriter who was well-respected in the country music industry. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she came from country stock. Her mother, Vikki Sallee, a former recording artist, was nicknamed “The Queen of Hillbilly Hollywood,” and her stepfather, Doug Dillard, was known for his banjo skills, as well as his membership in The Dillards, a bluegrass band.
A performer herself, Snead followed in her parents’ musical footsteps, working at the Country Music Hall of Fame for 10 years as an administrative assistant. She then spent three years at BMG, which ultimately became part of the Sony empire.
Reba met Kelly through the latter’s husband, Doak Snead. Doak became acquainted with Reba when he was a songwriter at Reba’s publishing company.
Kelley was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999, and her career came to a halt. Parkinson’s, a neurological condition which slowly affects an individual’s movement, robbed Kelley of her singing abilities, so her husband, Doak, released a compilation of his wife’s early demos in 2015 called Roses & Tumbleweeds.
“Roses & Tumbleweeds is a lasting testament to a voice that played the game, sang to babies, wrestled with the devil and scoffed at love,” CMT writes.
After her lengthy battle with Parkinson’s, Kelley died on May 8 at only 59 years old. She is survived by her husband and daughter, Emma, according to MusicRow.com
Reba posted a photo of Kelley on her Instagram to mourn her passing.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Doak, Emma and their family. Rest in peace Kelley,” she captioned the post.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that Reba has grieved for those she’s lost. In March, she honored her band 26 years after a plane crash killed all on board. At the time, Reba had stayed behind after a concert and decided to take a later plane—a decision which ultimately saved her life.
Because many of us consider our closest friends to be our family, we can only imagine the pain Reba is going through right now. We’re sending our thoughts and prayers her way, as well as to Kelley’s family.
These five Reba McEntire facts might surprise you!
NEXT: See your favorite country music stars then and now!
Country Music Stars Then And Now
They're beautiful today but country music legends like Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson were super cute kids. Click through to see your favorite country stars when they were wee things!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Wyonna Judd
Awww--she looks like a picture-perfect Gerber baby!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Fatih Hill
She was always beautiful!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Keith Urban
Even as a tot, the Aussie country rocker loved the shaggy look.
Country Music Stars Then And Now Kelly Clarkson
That smile had star-wattage even then!
Not much has changed!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Leann Rimes
Such a kissable face!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Blake Shelton
Baby Blake's grin has stayed pretty much the same!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Dolly Parton
Young Dolly seems trying hard to put on a happy face.
Country Music Stars Then And Now Shania Twain
Her life started off rough, but you can never tell by Shania's smiley-baby pic.
Country Music Stars Then And Now Trisha Yearwood
When she posted the pic of herself as little girl to Facebook, Trisha Yearwood called it her first diva photo!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Kenny Chesney
It doesn't look like Kenny ever had much hair!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Miranda Lambert
We love the hat!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Carrie Underwood
She had the performing chops from waaay back!
Country Music Stars Then And Now Tim Mcgraw
He's still got that slightly mischievous look!
Dolly Parton Husband Collage