Even after many decades, Reba McEntire songs are still as flawless as they used to be!
When you take a look at the great moments of McEntire’s recording career, you will see a superstar who managed to be vulnerable while still radiating as much strength as any artist who came before or after her in the genre.
She has made one of the most successful and illustrious careers in country music by recording some of the best songs. So, without further ado, here are ten of the most essential pieces by Reba McEntire.
McEntire’s version of “Fancy” is deemed as one of her greatest and boldest songs to date.
McEntire tells the tale of a woman named Fancy in this Southern Gothic style-song. Fancy, who is now thirty-three years old, looks back to the summer when she was only eighteen – where she lived in poverty with her baby sibling and a terminally ill mother.
In a desperate attempt to get Fancy out of the cruel cycle of poverty, her mother used her last money to pay for Fancy’s dress, makeup, and perfume and sent her to work as a prostitute. Though Fancy became successful in what she does, she is being haunted by her lonely and desperate mother’s memory.
The song was written and originally recorded by Bobbie Gentry, who viewed the song as her “strongest state for women’s lib.” Fancy’s fictional rags-to-riches story also had parallels in Gentry’s own life, who had grown up in poverty and had married a casino magnate.
2. “I’m a Survivor”
In 2001, McEntire continued to branch out in her entertainment empire as she starred in her own popular sitcom. And there’s no better choice for the show’s theme song than “I’m a Survivor.”
The country singer has done plenty of songs about strong women – this one’s not an exception. The country-pop song tells the tale of a premature baby, who later grows into a single parent. Clearly, McEntire fits the song so perfectly as she has always been a survivor.
3. “You Lie”
When McEntire released “You Lie” in the fall of 1990, it quickly dominated the airwaves and even climbed to the top spot of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Well, it was no longer a surprise as the song is filled with McEntire’s ingredient for magic: a breathtaking melody that lets her voice soar high and a story that will tug your heart.
The song tells the tale of a woman who was caught in between staying to keep the man she loves – though she knows he is not in love with her – or painfully let him go.
4. “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”
This is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking songs in McEntire’s legendary career. Written by Layng Martine Jr. and Richard Leigh, “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” tells a tale we’re all familiar with.
The country ballad is about a daughter who longs for her father’s love. Unfortunately, the older man comes home late every night and was always occupied with work until his death.
5. “Does He Love You”
“Does He Love You” features a vocal battle between Reba McEntire and Linda Davis, who are in love with the same man – whom they know is not faithful to them. This makes them wonder who the man truly loves.
6. “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”
Written by Bobby Russell and originally recorded by his then-wife, comedian Vicki Lawrence in the early ’70s, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” quickly became a No. 1 hit. It even heavily inspired the 1981 American musical drama film of the same name.
McEntire brought the classic back to life in 1991.
7. “Whoever’s in New England”
This Grammy Award-winning song is a major breakthrough hit for McEntire as it started a string of chart-topping hits that kept on coming for the next thirteen years.
8. “Turn on the Radio”
“Turn on the Radio” was totally a feat for McEntire. It was released in 2010 as the lead single for her 34th career album – when she was already fifty-five years old. Still, the song became a smash hit for McEntire as it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. This goes to show the music veteran still has what it takes to compete with the many young stars of the day.
9. “Is There Life Out There”
McEntire unceasingly keeps raising the bar for her own career. Her song “Is There Life Out There,” for instance, dominated the top spot of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs for two remarkable weeks.
The song was released with an inspiring music video. However, it was too long that the video outlets were hesitant to play it. Later, the hit single turned into a made-for-TV movie, inspiring several women to carry out their education.
10. “Because of You”
Reba McEntire joined forces with Kelly Clarkson for “Because of You.” The song was written by Clarkson when she was only 16 years old as a way to get through the emotional pain and suffering caused by her parents’ divorce.
With almost a hundred Reba McEntire songs released so far, it definitely wasn’t easy to stop at just ten. Well, we hope you enjoy this list!