Not long after Reba McEntire lost most of her band in a plane crash, Kenny Rogers came calling. He had a job for her, and in looking back on the 81-year-old’s death, McEntire recognized how important that gesture was to her healing.
McEntire — whose 30th anniversary edition of the Rumor Has It album drops on Friday (Sept. 11) — first recalled touring Australia with Rogers, and loving every minute of it. When pressed for a memory, she opened up about a made-for-television movie she was part of in Nov. 1991, seven months after the plane crash killed eight members of her team, including her manager.
“Kenny saved my sanity in ’91 when he asked me to come do The Gambler movie,” she told Taste of Country and select media recently, referring to NBC‘s The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw. “I was still in a state of disbelief and not knowing what I’m gonna do moving forward after the plane crash.”