Reba McEntire has had a prolific career in television and film, but it pales in comparison to her singing. The iconic Reba started singing in high school and performing at rodeos at a young age. She is best known for her heartfelt country songs, but Reba has also worked tirelessly to help charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. In honor of her many accomplishments, we’ve curated this list of the top ten best Reba McEntire Songs of All-Time.
10. Is There Life Out There
There’s nothing wrong with getting married young, but it’s not for everyone. In the song Is There Life Out There, a young woman marries early and lives a traditional life, having kids and settling down. Unfortunately, this leaves her with questions about her life choices and path. She wonders if she’s missing something essential and feels unfulfilled. The pervasive sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction makes this song relatable to many young women who marry early.
9. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter from the 1994 album Read My Mind is filled with sexual frustration and longing, yet it has a surprising wholesome twist in the end. In this song, a beautiful woman hunts through a busy bar to find the satisfaction she craves. It doesn’t take long before a stranger offers to buy her a drink, but she notices the telltale mark on his left ring finger and knows there will be consequences to saying yes. Nevertheless, she persists and very nearly goes through with it. However, at the last minute, she changes her mind and walks away.
8. For My Broken Heart
For My Broken Heart is both a superb song and Reba’s eighteenth studio album title. According to Y100 Country, this album celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, but there’s a sad story behind it that isn’t what most people might expect. Shortly before the country star recorded this album, most of her backup band was in a lethal plane crash. It’s no surprise she was feeling brokenhearted after such a horrifying event.
7. She Thinks His Name Was John
On the surface, She Thinks His Name Was John seems like a typical story about a one-night stand that got away. The singer appears heartbroken because she never really knew the man she slept with one evening. However, that’s not the real story behind this song. The AIDS epidemic is history for younger generations, but for those who grew up during or lived through it as adults, there’s a deeper meaning here. She Thinks His Name Was John is the story of a woman who had one wild night with a sexy stranger and contracted AIDS. This is the song at the end of her life as she slowly succumbs.
6. Why Haven’t I Heard From You
Sitting by the phone and waiting for a call is different now than it used to be. Before most people could carry a cell phone with them or text, hopeful lovers would spend hours or even days sitting beside an old-fashioned hardwired telephone waiting for that one special call. Why Haven’t I Heard From You is all about the feeling of frustration at waiting around on that one crucial call that never seems to come.
5. He Gets That From Me
We all look for ourselves in our children. However, like many of Reba’s sad songs, He Gets That From Me seems to have a deeper and more mournful meaning. According to an anonymous contributor on Lyric Meanings, “A widowed mother sings about her son’s similarities to her in the grieving process after the death of her husband. She sings of his sorrow, her sorrow, and how the two of them are able to cope with each other each and every day.”
When you’re not in love but you want to be, things get very lonely. The man in this song tells a diner waitress that he’s about ready to give up on his lack of love life, and she offers him sage advice. She tells him that the one he’s looking for could be right around the corner, just about anywhere.
3. Consider Me Gone
Every great artist does a breakup song eventually. Some are angry odes to throwing things out a window and lighting them on fire. Meanwhile, others are about cheating or looking for the next best thing, but Reba manages to keep this song classy like she is. Consider Me Gone is about the sad time when you realize a relationship isn’t going anywhere, and it’s time to leave. There are no histrionics here, and there’s no fighting for what isn’t there or trying to stay in an unhealthy relationship. Instead, she sadly but firmly expresses a mature understanding that it’s over, even if no one has said it’s over yet.
2. Turn On The Radio
If Consider Me Gone is a mature and mournful breakup song, then Turn On The Radio is the other side of that coin. This song has all the fire and passion and “FU” attitude that Consider Me Gone was too classy for. Instead, this is the song of an angry, brokenhearted woman who was cheated on and lied to. The only way this lover is going to hear from her again is to buy an album. That’s the sort of snarky clapback you can feel good about.
1. I’m A Survivor
Released in 2001, I’m A Survivor is the quintessentially Reba song that belongs in every collection of her work. There’s heart and soul in this song that she dedicated to all the single mothers. The fighting spirit and kind nature that exemplifies Reba is in every note of this incredible anthem. She says it all in one line, “Who I am is who I want to be.”
There were so many amazing songs to choose from that it was arduous to narrow down this list. Fortunately, that means that there is plenty more of Reba McEntire’s excellent music available. Once you’ve listened to everything highlighted here, we recommend starting with her latest release, Somehow You Do.