Reba McEntire is honoring her late mother, Jacqueline, who passed away on March 14, 2020, with a touching video to “You Never Gave Up On Me.” The song, which was written by Billy Aerts and Burton Collins, is from McEntire’s 2019 Stronger Than the Truth album. But it’s the black and white video, which begins with footage of McEntire paying tribute to her mother in her acceptance speech for the CMA Award in 1984, for Female Vocalist of the Year, which shows off the enduring love between a mother and daughter over the years.
A year ago yesterday, Mama went to heaven. I know she's still not giving up on me. Thank you Mama. https://t.co/9oXDc6UmLq
— Reba (@reba) March 15, 2021
“A year ago yesterday, Mama went to heaven,” McEntire tweeted. “I know she’s still not giving up on me. Thank you Mama.”
The video for “You Never Gave Up On Me” shows photos of McEntire with her mother, from the early days of her career, until shortly before Jacqueline passed away, at the age of 93, from cancer. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, McEntire had plenty of unexpected time off the road to mourn the loss of the family matriarch.
“It was a true blessing … It really was,” McEntire said on Today of her time with her family. “We had so many great times, going through drawers and boxes, and found pictures we’d never seen before, and we cried, we laughed, we toasted Mama. It was just an absolute, huge blessing to get to do that.”
The pandemic might have given McEntire time to grieve, but it also meant her mother could not have a proper funeral.
“We wanted the next Thursday to be the funeral and they said, ‘No, we’ve got COVID-19. You can’t have the funeral. People won’t be able to come in,’” McEntire told Sounds Like Nashville.. “So consequently I stayed in Oklahoma until the day after Mother’s Day. I wanted to stay in Oklahoma with my sisters and my brother and my family for mama on Mother’s Day. We did bury her on the 29th of March and then we cleaned out her house and everything.”
McEntire has missed being on the road, and with her fans, but she has enjoyed having a long stretch of time to herself, for the first time in her entire carer.
“I haven’t had this much time off since I was in high school, so it’s been a reward and a joy to me,” McEntire said “My heart goes out to all the folks who have been sick and who have lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them and to anybody who is suffering and hurting with this illness. It’s not a nice illness at all. It’s hateful, but I do need to say honestly, I have enjoyed the rest. I’ve enjoyed the time off to be creative, but mainly to be still, just to be still. I’ve loved that tremendously.”