Looking back on her 26-year marriage, Reba McEntire revealed she “did not want” to divorce her ex-husband, Narvel Blackstock. The iconic country singer got candid about her former relationship with the TV producer during a new episode of her “Living & Learning” podcast.
“The divorce was not my choice. I did not want it at all,” the 65-year-old explained while chatting with her cohost, Melissa Peterman, and guest Dolly Parton on the segment titled “Forging Your Own Path” on September 21. “So it was left up to me [to be like], ‘OK, kid, how are you going to handle this?'”
Reba said the end of their marriage in 2015 was “kind of a ‘buckle up buttercup moment'” for her considering Narvel, 64, was working as her manager. “The people who were literally taking care of me and my company [and] my career left me,” she explained.
After the “Fancy” songstress and the God’s Country producer — who tied the knot in 1989 and share son Shelby — went their separate ways, Reba was forced to “put [her] feelings aside and go forward,” she explained. “It was kind of a, as I call, come to Jesus meeting. I had to gather my wear with all.”
Not only was Reba trying to mend the pieces of her broken heart, but she was also responsible for getting her career back on track. “It was forging a path that I didn’t want to be part of, but I had to do it,” she noted. “Not only for myself, but for my band, my crew, my organization.”
“I had to say, OK, this has happened … we all know what’s happened because you all were involved,” she continued. “Now we’ve got to move forward.”
Despite having to “learn so much” that it felt like “catch-up 101,” the Grammy Award winner insisted the tumultuous journey forced her to be stronger. “I think it’s made me appreciate the business more,” she shared. “There I was again, forging another part of the territory I never even thought I’d have to deal with.”
At the time Reba and Narvel announced their separation in a joint statement in 2015, fans were shocked. However, a friend close to the “Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” singer revealed Reba was also caught off guard.
“Narvel was her protector, her business partner and manager, and it was really tough on her,” the pal shared with Closer Weekly in March 2019. “She had no idea it was coming.”
Fortunately, Reba’s grieving didn’t last long. “She felt sorry for herself for about a month, but then she snapped out of it,” the insider explained. “Reba really learned that she can stand on her two feet, that she doesn’t and never really did need a man to take care of her.”