When Reba McEntire lost eight members of her team in a deadly plane crash in 1991, she didn’t know where to turn. Fortunately, the iconic country artist said late singer Kenny Rogers “saved” her “sanity” when he asked her to be a part of one of his movies.

“He asked me to come do [The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw],” the 65-year-old told Taste of Country on Thursday, September 10. “I was still in a state of disbelief and not knowing what I’m gonna do moving forward after the plane crash.”

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In March 1991, eight of Reba’s beloved crew members, including her manager, were killed in the tragic accident when their plane crashed just three minutes after taking off in San Diego for their destination in Indiana. The “Fancy” singer was not on the private jet as she stayed behind in California with her then-husband, Narvel Blackstock, and her stylist, Sandy Spika.

Reba was in shambles after losing her members so suddenly, but she was able to get things off her mind when Kenny offered her a role as Burgundy Jones in the fourth movie of The Gambler series. Looking back, the “Does He Love You” singer couldn’t feel more grateful.

I miss him so much,” Reba gushed of Kenny. “He [was] such a special person and a big-hearted giver.”

The beloved Country Music Hall of Famer died at age 81 in March 2020. “The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 p.m.,” his family’s statement read at the time. “Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”

Kenny Rogers

Following the news of his death, Reba paid tribute to the iconic crooner. The former Reba star penned an emotional message to the “Coward of the County” singer alongside a sweet photo of the two.

“Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain. Please tell mama and daddy hi for me,” she wrote shortly after the news of Kenny’s death. “Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace, my friend.”

At least Reba will always be able to hold onto her most wonderful memories with Kenny.