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Reba McEntire Claps Back At Critics Who Thought She’d Fail In Country Music Because She Was “A Girl” 

Reba McEntire

After nearly 50 years in country music, Reba McEntire has become one of the most legendary singers in the industry. But when she was getting started, dozens of people told her she’d never make it—just because she was “a girl.”

Reba had a slow climb to the top after dropping her first single in 1976. While many stars hit the scene with breakout hits, it was six years before she celebrated her first No. 1 hit. But once she did, the accolades kept rolling in.

This year is the 30th anniversary of her milestone Academy of Country Music Award’s Entertainer of the Year win. And to mark the feat, Reba McEntire will host this year’s ACM ceremony.

While reflecting on her career, the singer admitted that she faced a lot of adversity during her path to fame, and it was all because she was “a girl.”

“I’ve had that all my life, ‘Oh you can’t do that, you’re a girl. You can’t do that. And I’m so glad they did because that just gave me the determination to do it.”

Reba McEntire’s Work On “The Cattle Range” Taught Her The Skills Needed For The Music Industry

When Reba McEntire got her start, the country genre was saturated with male performers, and it was nearly impossible to break through as a woman. Only a handful of female singers, including Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, had found success.

In a separate interview, per Biography, Reba McEntire explained that she used skills learned on the farm to earn respect in the industry.

“As a woman, you don’t complain,” she said. “You work twice as hard. And you do your job. You try to outsmart them; You try to outwork them and get there first. You help out, you volunteer, you’re at the front of the line. That’s what I learned from working on the cattle range, and it helped me in the music business.”

This story’s featured image is by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

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