Forty years ago, a young Reba McEntire stepped onto the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. It was an achievement she felt like she could not even dream to achieve, but on September 17, 1977, she achieved that goal and has graced the stage ever since. With four decades of performances under her belt, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Sad Songs” shows no sign of slowing down.
The night she was inducted as a member of the Opry in 1986, she sang “Somebody Should Leave,” a mournful song of a dissolving marriage. “I’m the queen of sad songs,” Reba said. “I had a friend one time say, ‘I was trying to find some song for my wedding and I wanted to do one of your songs, but you don’t have any up-tempo happy love songs! All yours are sad.'”
She laughed before explaining why she thinks that is. “Country music is sad. It’s about songs people can relate to. It’s about everyday life.”
The sad song worked that night, as all her music has over her storied career.
“It’s been a wonderful 40 years,” she reflected while onstage. “I couldn’t have done it without you and I wouldn’t have wanted to.”