Reba McEntire tells of one of the greatest tragedies of her life

For decades, Reba McEntire has established a reputation as one of the hottest acts in country music. The star is best known for her signature red locks and has had countless hits like “Whoever’s in New England” and her hit duet with Kelly Clarkson “Because of You.” Of course, she also starred in a self-titled comedy, but not everything in the star’s life was easy.

In 1991, tragedy struck near McEntire when she lost eight people close to her in a plane crash. According to The Boot, seven of McEntire’s band members and their tour manager were on the chartered jet that crashed into a mountainside after a show in San Diego. As fate would have it, McEntire was scheduled to catch another flight the next day as she chose to stay in San Diego and continue to recover from a bout of bronchitis. Not long after the accident, the singer’s rep, Trisha McClanahan, issued a statement on McEntire’s behalf via the Los Angeles Times. “She was very close to everyone. Some of them had been with her for years. Reba is totally devastated by this. It’s like losing part of your family,” she said, adding that McEntire simply wanted to return to Nashville.

McEntire later set her emotions to music with the song “For My Broken Heart,” which is about losing her teammates. All these years later, she’s addressing the tragedy again.

Reba McEntire didn’t think she could move on after the plane crash

Reba McEntire speaks out about an incredibly difficult subject. In an interview with People, the country superstar opened up about the tragic plane crash that killed eight of her crew in 1991. Although many years have passed since the tragedy, that doesn’t make it any less difficult for McEntire.

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“I didn’t know if I could continue,” McEntire told People. “But it showed me how precious life is, and through the grace of God and my faith, I realized they had gone to a better place.” She also revealed that the tragedy helped her gain a new perspective in life and said she wanted to “take it one day at a time” while reminding others to “be thankful for the things you have.” Additionally, the singer reminded readers to tell the people in their inner circle “how much you love and appreciate them.” McEntire said that while she doesn’t blame God for events, she “will have questions when I’m up there.”

The singer seems to be doing her best to commemorate her and posts about the accident on social media from time to time. In 2014, McEntire took to Instagram to share a plaque with the names of those who lost their lives — along with a heartbreaking caption. “The plane crash [on] March 16, 1991 took the lives of my friends,” she wrote. “They will never be forgotten.” Ugh, heartbreaking.