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Reba McEntire Honors Late Bandmates on 33rd Anniversary of Fatal Plane Crash

By Michael Mar 19, 2024
Reba McEntire. Rich Fury/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM

Reba McEntire remembered eight of her late bandmates and crew members more than three decades after they died in a fatal plane crash.

“33 years today since Heaven gained some great angels,” McEntire, 68, captioned her Instagram tribute on Saturday, March 16. “Rest in peace, my friends.”

The Grammy winner shared a sunset photo in memory of her late friends, whom she listed by name: Chris Austin, Kirk Cappello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Jim Hammon, Terry Jackson, Tony Saputo and Michael Thomas.

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“I guess the world ain’t gonna stop … for my broken heart,” McEntire added, referencing lyrics from her 1991 track, “For My Broken Heart,” which was written after the heartbreaking loss.

The touching tribute was in honor of the eight members of McEntire’s team who died in March 1991 after a San Diego concert. During the band’s flight out of California, the plane’s wing clipped a rock and crashed into a mountain close to the United States and Mexico border.

There were 10 people on board when the plane went down, eight of whom were part of McEntire’s band.

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The Voice coach was still in California with her then-husband and manager, Narvel Blackstock, when the accident occurred. McEntire and Blackstock were set to fly out the following day. (The pair, who share son Shelby, called it quits in 2015 after being married 26 years.)

Courtesy of Reba McEntire/Instagram

At the time, a rep for McEntire told the Los Angeles Times that she was “very close to all” of the individuals who passed away. “

“Reba is totally devastated by this,” the rep said in March 1991. “It’s like losing part of your family. Right now, she just wants to get back to Nashville.”

Later that year, McEntire channeled her sadness into her For My Broken Heart album. The record sold more than four million copies and has become one of her best-selling albums of all time.

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Over the years, McEntire has paid homage to her late friends. When her mother, Jacqueline, died in March 2020, she shared her hope that they were all united in Heaven and watching over her from above.

“29 years ago today, I lost my friends in a plane crash. The timing of Mama’s passing with that anniversary seems appropriate,” McEntire wrote via Instagram at the time. “I know they’re all in Heaven together and taking care of each other.”

She added: “Let’s keep finding ways to take care of each other down here on earth and never take one moment with our loved ones for granted.”

By Michael

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