While things were starting to go perfectly for Reba, tragedy struck in 1991. She was on tour at the time and eight of her band members died in a plane crash. They were flying early in the morning and the charter jet plane crashed into the side of Otay Mountain, in San Diego. The night before the accident, Reba had done a private performance for the IBM executives.
The aircraft crashed because of poor visibility, but the location was not marked as an area where flying is prohibited. Reba and her husband Narvel were staying at a hotel at the time, and they were told of the tragic news right away. The accident was so devastating for Reba because they were like family to her. They had been playing music together for many years. She wanted nothing, but to be back home in Nashville immediately.
A First Step Into The Film Industry
Reba had her first movie role in 1990, along with Kevin Bacon, playing Heather Gummer in the comedy horror, Tremors. In the movie, they had to fight giant worm-like creatures living beneath the ground. She even put the filming first, before her honeymoon with Narvel. Reba enjoyed the filming very much, but her co-star didn’t feel the same.
Kevin Bacon was already an established actor at the time and he felt that this was the worst film in his entire acting career. However, this did not bother Reba, because for her, this was a dream come true. Bacon’s attitude didn’t stop her from starring in more movies.
Reba and her first husband, Charlie Battles, shared a ranch in Oklahoma. They were a happy couple until Reba got so caught up with her career, that it compromised their marriage. Charlie wanted Reba to spend more time at home with him. He dreamed of them working on the ranch together, but the nature of Reba’s career took her out of the house and onto the world’s stage to perform. As time went by, the conflict grew, which was the reason their marriage failed.
In 1987, Reba finally divorced Charlie and she moved to Nashville and focused on her career. It wasn’t easy for Reba, but it felt like she was finally free. She had always felt like a little girl who was taking orders from Charlie and doing what he said.
Her Dedication Album
After the disastrous accident, Reba dedicated “For My Broken Heart,” which was her sixteenth album, to the band members she lost. The album was released in October of 1991. It contained many sorrowful songs and mournful ballads about love that is lost. Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly even described it as “all measure of suffering.”
The album might have been about sadness, but it was quite a hit. In fact, it sold more than four million copies, making it one of Reba’s best-selling albums. The album itself reached the number 3 spot on the music charts, while two of her songs reached number 1. For Reba, the album was “a form of healing for all our broken hearts,” as she wrote in the liner notes.
Her Emblematic Red Dress
It was in a 1993 performance of Reba’s, with Linda Davis, at the CMA Awards, when they won the Grammy, that she wore this iconic red dress. The two sang in duet, “Does He Love You.” While their voices wove around each other beautifully, the audience seemed to be more awe-struck by Reba’s look that night than her performance. It was evident the moment she stepped into the stage.
It was a red turtleneck dress with jeweled bodice and flared sleeves, yet it was very revealing, because the neckline was an almost transparent lunging V. Reba’s friend, Sandi Spika Borchetta, designed it, and she said she felt like Cinderella that night. Reba’s father jokingly asked her though if she was wearing the dress backwards (classic dad joke). Reba wore the dress once again in her 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards performance with Kelly Clarkson, singing the same song.