Country Flashback: Reba McEntire’s Plane Crash Tragedy

reba mcentire's plane crash

photo: YouTube

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly three decades since country music star Reba McEntire's plane crash tragedy shocked the country music community.

On March 16, 1991, country music star Reba McEntire lost seven of her band members (Chris Austin, Kirk Cappello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Anthony Saputo, and Michael Thomas) as well as her tour manager Jim Hammon in a fatal plane crash outside of San Diego, California. Pilot Donald Holmes and co-pilot Chris Hollinger were also killed in the aviation accident. The crash is believed to have been caused by poor visibility near the Otay Mountain, where the plane went down. Read on to lean more about Reba McEntire’s plane crash tragedy below.

McEntire and her band had played a private show for IBM executives the night before, but the country music star stayed behind to rest for an extra day before departing California. A second plane carrying the rest of Reba’s band members arrived safely at their destination. The news was reported nearly immediately to McEntire and her then-husband, Narvel Blackstock, who were staying at a nearby hotel.

A spokeswoman for McEntire at the time stated in the Los Angeles Times that “she was very close to all of them. Some of them had been with her for years. Reba is totally devastated by this. It’s like losing part of your family. Right now she just wants to get back to Nashville.”

Reba dedicated her 1991 album For My Broken Heart to those she lost. When she won the ACM ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ award that same year, she dedicated the honor to her “eight buddies.” Reba McEntire’s plane crash incident was also recalled within her 1994 memoir, Reba; My Story.

Watch Reba McEntire’s emotional acceptance speech below!

Share this quick look back at Reba McEntire’s plane crash tragedy with others who remember it. Watch Reba’s official “For My Broken Heart” music video below! 

“For My Broken Heart” Lyrics

There were no angry words at all
As we carried boxes down the hall
One by one we put them in your car
Nothing much for us to say
One last goodbye and you drove away
I watched your tail-lights
As they faded in the dark
I couldn’t face the night in that lonely bed
So I laid down on the couch instead
Last night I prayed the Lord my soul to keep
Then I cried myself to sleep
So sure life wouldn’t go on without you
But oh this sun is blinding me
As it wakes me from the dark
I guess the world didn’t stop
For my broken heart
Clocks still tickin’, life goes on
Radio still plays a song
As I try to put my scattered thoughts in place
And it takes all the strength I’ve got
To stumble to the coffee pot
The first of many lonely mornings I’ve got to face
You call to see if I’m ok
Look out the window and I just say
Last night I prayed the Lord my soul to keep
Then I cried myself to sleep
So sure life wouldn’t go on without you
But oh this sun is blinding me
As it wakes me from the dark
I guess the world didn’t stop
For my broken heart
I guess the world ain’t gonna stop
For my broken heart

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