Reba Nell McEntire was born near Kiowa, Oklahoma. Her father and grandfather were champion steer ropers and her mother originally had plans to become a country music artist but became a schoolteacher instead.
Her mother did teach her children how to sing. On car rides home from her father's rodeo trips, the McEntire siblings were taught songs and learned their own harmonies, eventually forming a vocal group called the "Singing McEntires." Reba, along with brother Pake and sister Susie performed on local radio shows and at rodeos.
As a solo act, she was invited to perform at a rodeo in Oklahoma City, which caught the attention of country artist Red Steagall. He brought her to Nashville, Tennessee, where she eventually signed a contract with Mercury Records in 1975. She released her first solo album in 1977 and released five additional studio albums under the label until 1983.
Signing with MCA Nashville Records, McEntire took creative control over her second MCA album, My Kind of Country in 1984, which had a more traditional country sound and produced two number one singles: "How Blue" and "Somebody Should Leave." The album brought her breakthrough success, bringing her a series of successful albums and number one singles in the 1980s and 1990s.
McEntire has since released 26 studio albums, acquired 35 #1 singles, and 28 albums have been certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.)