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Reba McEntire Shares How Kenny Rogers Helped Her Overcome Her ‘Darkest Hour’

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Reba McEntire is celebrating the anniversary of one of her most beloved albums — and opening up about how her friend and fellow country icon, Kenny Rogers, helped her bounce back from a tragic loss that happened not long after its original release.

The 1990 record, Rumor Has It, includes several hits for McEntire, including “You Lie” and her cover of Bobby Gentry’s “Fancy.” While on tour just six months after its debut, the singer lost seven members of her band and her tour manager, Jim Hammon, in a heartbreaking plane accident. “By far this is my darkest hour, the most awful thing that has ever happened in my life,” McEntire told People magazine at the time. “When you have eight people that you absolutely love and their lives are just wiped out — it’s devastating.”

McEntire returned to the stage with the encouragement of Hammon’s wife, who she says told her, “He’d kick your butt if you thought about quitting.” She dedicated a performance at that year’s Academy Awards and her next album, For My Broken Heart, to those who were lost.

The singer is now also sharing how it was Rogers who “saved [her] sanity in ‘91” when he tapped her to co-star in one of his films the same year. “When he asked me to come do The Gambler movie, I was still in a state of disbelief and not knowing what I’m going to do to move forward after the plane crash,” she recently explained to Taste of Country. She clearly felt blessed to have such a good friend to lean on after enduring such hardship. “I miss him so much,” she added. “He’s such a special person and a big-hearted giver.”

Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire on horseback
The singers arrived on horseback for a screening of ‘The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw’ in 1991.Getty Images

Rogers passed away earlier this year in March. McEntire paid tribute to him on her Instagram page, “Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to mis you, but we are so happy you’re singing with the angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend.” There’s no doubt there was a strong bond between the two performers.

Along with the album’s re-release (which you can find on your favorite streaming service), McEntire also recently admitted that the whole cast of her sitcom, Reba, would be on board for a re-boot of that as well. “That amount of time, that time spread, we’d have a lot of stories to tell… We’d love to do it.”

We don’t know about you, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the cast reuniting on our screens soon (while we listen to “Fancy” on repeat).

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