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28 Years Ago: Reba McEntire Joins the Grand Ole Opry

Reba McEntire
Chris Weeks/Liaison, Getty Images

On this date 28 years ago (Jan. 17, 1986), Reba McEntire fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Oklahoma native’s induction was part of a big milestone for the Opry as well. She became an official member during a televised special honoring the Opry’s 60th anniversary. But while most people were in a celebratory mood that evening, one country music legend, Hank Snow, boycotted the show, when producers limited him to one verse of his hit, ‘I’m Moving On.’

Still, the songstress didn’t let the off-screen drama affect her big night. She returned to the famous stage only three days later, to perform her newest single, ‘Whoever’s in New England,’ which became her fifth No. 1 hit.

McEntire’s induction into the hallowed hall came nine years after she made her Grand Ole Opry debut, in 1977. Originally planning on performing two songs, her time on stage was reduced to one song, thanks to an unexpected appearance by Dolly Parton.

Clearly, McEntire held no ill will, and has said the Grand Ole Opry is still one of her favorite places to perform.

“The Grand Ole Opry is a home,” she says. “It’s a family. It’s like a family reunion, when you come back and get to see everybody.”

Next: The Top 20 Reba McEntire Songs

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