Reba McEntire was devastated when her marriage to Narvel Blackstock ended in 2015, 26 years after they said “I do.” But for all of her heartache, the split did teach McEntire a valuable lesson: to take control of her own life and career.
“Things started going south with my marriage. Narvel Blackstock, my manager and husband at the time — we got a divorce, and the shocker of it all was, there were four people who were taking care of all my business,” McEntire said on Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk (via People), “I had my production manager who left, I had my CEO who left, my manager and husband, and my father had died. So four men who were rock and pillars of my world were gone.”
It was then that the Oklahoma native decided that from that moment on, she would be the one who had the ultimate say over her life and career.
“I started taking over signing the checks and then I started realizing how much water cost, and the electric bill, and all the things that was going on in my life,” she recalled. “I made the money, I brought it home. So it was a huge, huge change for me.”
McEntire, who has said she did not want the divorce, found solace in her faith, which was strengthened through one of the darkest seasons of her life.
“Everything that I was dealing with privately, personally, I had to run it all through God. I had to say, ‘OK big boy, I can’t handle this. This is way over my pay grade — I don’t know what to do,'” McEntire recounted. “And I would wait, and He would guide me. And so without my faith, I have no idea where I would be or my career would be, at this time today.”
Now that McEntire is on the other side of her heartache — and happily dating CSI:Miami actor Rex Linn, the 66-year-old has wise words for anyone else who might be going through a similar situation.
“If someone walked up to me and said, ‘Reba, I’m going through a situation like you did — what’s your advice?’ I would say, ‘Go home, regroup, and listen to see what you’re supposed to do next,'” McEntire urged. “Rally friends around you, good positive friends that have your best interests at heart — which I did — and you will survive.”