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Reba McEntire’s Shares That Her Debut at the Grand Ole Opry Was Almost Cut by Dolly Parton

There’s nothing we love more than iconic stories of the past and Reba McEntire shared one to never forget on Late Night with Seth Meyers!

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The Grand Ole Opry is hallowed ground for country music, a place where legends are born and careers are solidified. On a fateful night in September 1977, a young Reba McEntire traveled 700 miles to sing two songs and step into her career. However, her heart sank when her family arrived and they were told Reba was not performing tonight.

Reba's father, Clark McEntire, was a world-champion steer roper and a respected local musician. He played a pivotal role in nurturing Reba's musical aspirations, teaching her how to sing and play guitar. Clark asked what they should do and the gentleman at The Grand Ole Opry suggested to leave.

After heading to the Get and Go across the way, Reba called her agent at Mercury Records who told her to head back over. They pulled up to the same person who did not admit them, and he said “Right over there. You’re number 28, Mr. McEntire. So glad y’all are here.”

Reba was getting ready for her performance when she was told they were cutting one of her songs. When she asked why, they said that Dolly Parton just pulled into the parking lot and that she would be getting one of Reba’s slots. Reba joked “Shoot she can have both of them. Can I meet her?”

Her journey from that first memorable night in 1977 to becoming a Grand Ole Opry member and a true country music icon could have been completely different if Reba McEntire was never admitted to perform. This unheard story inspires artists to chase their dreams and appreciate the path they take to make it where they are.

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