Country singer Reba McEntire just posted a touching tribute to the band members she lost 26 years ago today in a deadly plane crash.
On March 16, 1991, seven of her band members, her road manager, and both pilots died when their airplane crashed in mountainous terrain near the Mexican border. McEntire, then 35 years old, had just performed a concert in San Diego that night and had stayed behind to catch a later flight to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where her next concert was to be held. At the time, McEntire was recovering from bronchitis and stayed behind with her then-husband Narvel Blackstock.
As reported by the New York Times in 1991, "Miss McEntire's spokeswoman, Jenny Bohler, identified eight of those killed as Jim Hammon, the singer's tour manager; Kirk Cappello and Joey Cigainero, keyboardists; Paula Kaye Evans, a vocalist; Michael Thomas and Terry Jackson, guitarists; Tony Saputo, drummer, and Chris Austin, a vocalist who also played fiddle and acoustic guitar."
McEntire, now 61, shared a photo of herself in an airplane, dedicating the caption to her bandmates. "How time flies. 26 years ago our friends went to sit on the right hand side of God," she wrote. "I love and miss them. Can you imagine the wonderful music they're playing up there? And Jim making sure everything is set up just right?:))) God takes the best. He has great taste. #loveandmissthem"
Reba dedicated her next album, For My Broken Heart, to the crash victims. We're sure the anniversary is never any less painful, but we applaud her for remembering her friends in such a special way. Reba, we're sending our thoughts and prayers to you on this emotional day.