At the recent wedding of their son, Reba McEntire and her ex-husband Narvel Blackstock smiled together as the photographer snapped group photos. “Everyone was in close proximity, but it felt like a happy family event,” an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly, on newsstands now. “Nobody created any awkwardness.”
For perhaps the first time since her divorce, Reba, 66, is feeling on top of the world again. She’s thrilled about her life with boyfriend Rex Linn, 65, who escorted her to son Shelby Blackstock’s wedding, and is excited to discover what the future holds for them.
“I’ve waited 66 years for a man to pray with and to share a faith and love of the Lord, and to be compassionate and have a compassionate heart,” Reba gushes. “That’s very special.”
She and Rex looked very much in love at Shelby and his bride Marissa Branch’s February 12 wedding celebration at Orlando’s Disney World. “I saw them on the dance floor swaying to love songs,” says the insider. “She is in love with that man, and it’s obvious that he thinks the world of her.”
In fact, Rex couldn’t take his eyes off Reba as she took the floor at the reception to perform her signature song, “Fancy,” before family and friends. “Rex is her biggest cheerleader,” says the insider.
Reba’s circle of family and close friends worried that she’d never find love again after Narvel blindsided her with a demand for a divorce in 2015 after 26 years of marriage. “The split was devastating,” says the insider. “Reba loves being in a partnership, and she was happy, so the breakup was just awful. I think she has really been searching to replace that ever since.”
Reba first met Rex, an actor, in 1991 when they both appeared in Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler movie. They began to see each other in a more romantic light after reuniting on the set of Young Sheldon. “Starting in March 2020, we just kept talking and visiting,” says Reba. “Finally we got together … and we’ve been pretty inseparable since.”
The country music queen, who is twice divorced, admits they have even discussed marriage. “We’ve talked about it and giggled about it,” says Reba. “We thought, ‘Man, if we ever did have a ceremony, we would have to have a 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 6 o’clock and an 8 o’clock because we have so many friends, acquaintances and family.”
All of them would be happy to watch Reba start over again with Rex, who already feels like “part of the family,” according to the insider. “They are so happy and such a unit now. Reba is a hopeless romantic and loves being married, so I think it’s just a matter of time.”
It’s all come about because Reba never gave in to bitterness or anger after her divorce. She always kept her heart open and even found the grace to forgive her ex. “You got to express your anger. Then you have room for more positive things,” she says. “If I hold something in a long time, and then I speak it, it’s amazing how the light shines so much brighter.”
For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.