Forty years ago, Reba McEntire made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Last night she celebrated that milestone with surprise appearances from Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. Her good friend Vince Gill hosted the show.
McEntire, who made her debut on September 17, 1977, recalled the momentous occasion saying, “It was a lot of fun. It was nerve-wracking; it was scary. This means the world to me. It’s been a wonderful 40 years. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I wouldn’t have wanted to!”
Underwood surprised the crowd by performing her hits “Wasted,” “Church Bells” and “I Told You So.” She then took the stage for a duet with McEntire on a stunning rendition of the 1993 hit “Does He Love You.” “It’s always an honor to be on this stage, especially tonight. You are an inspiration to us all,” Underwood told the legendary singer.
Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntirePhoto by Rachael Black/Grand Ole Opry
When Parton took the stage, she recalled McEntire’s special night forty years ago. It just so happened that the “9 to 5” singer was making a surprise appearance on the Opry that same night. As a result, McEntire had to cut her performance down to one song.
“I just wanted to give it back to you tonight … and say hello and congratulations and how much I love you,” Parton said to McEntire. This time around, Parton was on hand to present a three-tier cake to McEntire in celebration of her big night.
As Gill hosted the show, he shared some kind words for his good buddy saying, “She’s an old, sweet, dear friend of mine, there’s not many people you can guarantee they’ve got your back. And this is one of my best friends in the world.”
Congratulations Reba. Here’s to 40 more!
Opry celebrations continue into October with the Opry’s 92nd Birthday October 6 & 7 and the induction of its newest member, Chris Young, on October 17.
Vince Gill and Reba McEntirePhoto by Rachael Black/Grand Ole Opry