Remembering the Loss of Reba McEntire’s Band Members

Reba McEntire understands sorrow and loss deeply. In 1991, she lost seven band members and her tour manager in a plane crash during a concert tour.

On March 16, 1991, McEntire and her band performed in San Diego. Two planes were prepared to transport the band to Fort Wayne, Ind. The band members and tour manager flew ahead, leaving McEntire, her husband Narvel Blackstock, and her stylist in San Diego.

In a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, McEntire recalled, “The tip of the plane’s wing hit a boulder on the edge of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on board.” Narvel informed her of the crash at 2 or 3 a.m. She asked, “‘Are they OK?’ ‘I don’t think so,’ he responded.”

Friends like Vince Gill and Dolly Parton offered their bands to finish the tour, but McEntire declined. Her next album, “For My Broken Heart,” was dedicated to the lost band members and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, selling four million copies.

McEntire regularly honors the anniversary of the tragedy. On the 25th anniversary, she visited the crash site and shared, “I have a feeling they realize how much we miss them. My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to all the families and friends.”