Remembering Reba McEntire’s Band Members Who Have Passed Away

Reba McEntire and her band performed in San Diego on March 16, 1991. After the event, two planes were chartered to transport the artists to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the next stop on their itinerary.

McEntire, her then-husband, Narvel Blackstock, and her stylist remained in San Diego while seven members of the band and the tour manager traveled ahead.

Unfortunately, the jet never arrived at its destination; it crashed just 10 miles from Brown Field Municipal Airport, killing all on board.

McEntire has always remembered this tragic tragedy. In a heartbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012, she described the deaths of seven band members and her tour manager.

Despite her great suffering over the years, McEntire finds this loss particularly difficult to bear.

When Reba McEntire told Oprah about the plane tragedy, she recalled how her husband Narvel had gone to alert their pilot.

Even in the early morning hours, Narvel returned to their hotel room with a sensation of fear.

McEntire asked if all on board were okay when he came through the door, only to be met with a crushing response.

McEntire remembered Narvel’s attempts to find out more information by contacting every room in search of answers, and the suffering and anguish he felt at the time were still raw after twenty years.

Nevertheless, no matter how hard they both tried, it appeared time had snuffed out all chance that there were survivors.

Many friends, including Vince Gill and Dolly Parton, offered their bands to McEntire on the day of the tragic tragedy, but she rejected them.

Her next album, For My Broken Heart, was dedicated to her late band members as a tribute. It was a huge hit, peaking at number one on Billboard’s Country Music Albums chart and selling four million copies.

McEntire pays honor to those who died on that awful day every year; in 2016, for the 25th anniversary, she made a memorable trip down to San Diego and shared her experience with her fans via social media channels such as Instagram.

She remarked that she had a strong feeling that people in heaven were aware of how much they were missed, and she finished by expressing “heartfelt sympathies and prayers” to all those affected by this tragedy.