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29 Years Ago: Reba McEntire Joins the Grand Ole Opry

Reba McEntire
Spencer Platt, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

On this date 29 years ago (Jan. 14, 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 after 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 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. That evening, she was originally planning on performing two songs, but her time on stage was reduced to one song due to an unexpected appearance by Dolly Parton.

Clearly McEntire holds no ill will, as she has said that 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.”

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