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The country music legend Reba McEntire is speaking out this week to defend her late mother Jacqueline Smith McEntire, who died in 2020, for letting her perform in “beer joints and honky tonks” when she was only 13 years-old.

McEntire Defends Her Mother

McEntire, 68, reminisced about her late mother while appearing on TalkShopLive with her fellow country music star Garth Brooks.

“Well you and I are very blessed to have had mamas that loved us, cared for us, and we loved them so much and we miss them so much,” McEntire said. “It was mama who encouraged us kids to sing, taught us how to sing, took us to our singing jobs. Thirteen years old playing beer joints and honky tonks, Peg, Susie and I getting up there and singing.”

“And people would say, ‘You’re playing clubs at 13?’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, mama and daddy are sitting right there.’ Took us. Took us home, encouraged us and kept us out of trouble,” she continued. “We were [doing] rodeo, and playing basketball and singing. So mama was there for all three events.”

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McEntire Honors Mother With New Song

McEntire pays tribute to her mother in her new single “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” and she admitted to Brooks that this was a difficult song for her to sing.

“Mama had passed in 2020 and so we’re hearing that song and I said I definitely want it but I couldn’t record it, I mean I couldn’t sing it in the studio probably the first two or three times through,” she said.

“I got so choked up because if I had seven minutes in heaven, I know exactly what I’d do,” she continued as her voice began to crack. “I would pass by all of the formal introductions, and go find Mama and sit down and ask her if she gets to go fishing up in heaven and then I’d say I’ll come back and see you soon.”

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McEntire Announces Mother’s Death

Smith McEntire passed away in March of 2020 at the age of 93 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

“She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely ready to go. The cancer might think it won the battle but we’re giving God all the credit on selecting the time for her to go home to Him. She was ready to see our Daddy, her mama and daddy and all her family and friends,” McEntire wrote on Facebook at the time.

“Down here, Alice, Pake, Susie and I, grandkids and great grandkids all got to visit with her either in person or over the phone,” she added. “She left knowing how much she is loved and we all know how much she loved us.”

McEntire later spoke out to give advice to others who may be experiencing the loss of a loved one.

“They can always turn to God, have their faith really step up and take control and believe that there’s going to be a better day,” she said, according to Prevention. “When you can, take this time to stop, smell the roses and just reconfirm why you’re here, and just take time for your family, your friends.”

Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a person can go through, so our hearts go out to McEntire for the loss of her mother. In the end, McEntire can take comfort in the fact that she had her mother here with her on Earth for as long as she did, and that they will be reunited someday in Heaven!

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