Reba McEntire’s Mom Is Equally Proud of All Four of Her Kids
The final track on Reba McEntire's new album, Stronger Than the Truth, holds particular significance for the country superstar. "You Never Gave Up on Me" was originally among the batch of songs McEntire considered for inclusion on the album she released prior to her most recent project, a gospel album called Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.
Even though "You Never Gave Up on Me" didn't make it into the tracklist for that record, the singer says she loved the song so much that she decided to hang onto it. When she started thinking about the track in the context of her new album, she realized that, in addition to its spiritual message, "You Never Gave Up on Me" has an additional important meaning.
"I got the idea, 'That's a great song for Mama.' Because who besides God has never given up on me? Mama," McEntire reveals, adding that the song was recorded in just one take: "[Producer] Buddy [Cannon] said, 'You wanna do it again?' I said, 'I don't think I can.'"
McEntire knew she wanted her mom, Jacqueline Smith, to be able to hear the song in a special setting. "I sent it [my sister] Susie and [her husband] Mark, and I wanted them to play it for Mama on Christmas Eve. They're in Oklahoma; I was here in Tennessee. And she sat there and listened to it," McEntire recounts with a smile. "I sent the lyrics and everything, so she'd be able to make sure that she heard every word.
"She cried. She was very appreciative. She loved it. But I meant it with all my heart," the singer continues.
McEntire says that her mom's support had an enormous impact on her as a young artist, but is quick to point out that all of her siblings received the same unconditional love and support. "Alice with her rodeo, and Pake with his roping and his singing, and with his cattle. Susie with her college, with her singing, with her ministry -- with everything she did," she recalls. "People would come up and say, 'Oh, Jackie, aren't you proud of Reba?' She'd go, 'I'm proud of all four of my kids.' She kinda bristles up."
Although McEntire has achieved the highest level of fame and celebrity among her siblings, her mom recognized the achievements of each of her children equally. "All my kids are good," McEntire remembers her mom saying. "I love every one of 'em."
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