Reba McEntire Shares the Story Behind the Emotional ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ Video

Reba McEntire honors her late mother, Jacqueline, with her new single, “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” out now. The song, from McEntire’s just-released Not That Fancy record, pays homage to the woman who was McEntire’s biggest inspiration, and still inspires her today.

“I’ve got a picture of her here on my desk. She’s just smiling.  And that’s the way I remember her so well,” McEntire shared with Everything Nash and other outlets during a recent virtual media event.. “She was a strong woman. I get that from her. Daddy was strong too, but Mama was really tough.”

In fact, after McEntire’s beloved mother passed away, the Country Music Hall of Fame member wasn’t sure she would ever be able to sing again, a fear she discusses in her new book, Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots, out now.

“Saying that I had lost my want to, to sing because she passed, that was very true,” McEntire admitted. “And Susie would just smile and say, ‘You’ll get it back.’ And she was right. I did. But it took a few months.”

McEntire hand-picked the person who portrays her mother in the “Seven Minutes in Heaven” video, choosing a woman who reminded her of the family matriarch, even when the cameras were rolling.

“She did great,” McEntire boasted of the actress named Eleanor. “And she was a sweetheart to get to work with. That is exactly what I thought it would look like if I went to Heaven. And with the smoke coming in and out, it made it look really heavenly. I thought it would be something familiar, something that you’d feel comfortable with. God thinks of everything. And so to walk up to the booth and the next time I walk up, and Mama’s there, and I put my arms on her shoulders … Eleanor’s hands were very similar to Mama’s when she was young. So that got me too.”

McEntire knew it would be emotional to shoot, but she had no idea how emotional until the day they actually filmed the “Seven Minutes in Heaven” video.

“They kept saying, ‘Okay, let’s do it again,'” McEntire recalled. “I said, ‘Okay, let’s take a little break here. Get in here to redo my makeup,’ ’cause I had just bawled. And Eleanor was sitting across from me at the booth, and she’d see me crying. She’d try to reach for a napkin out of the napkin dispenser on the table. And I’d say, ‘Eleanor, that’s okay. It’s, it’s part of the video.’ … She was just like a mother, trying to make sure everything was all right.”

Find all of McEntire’s music, including “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” at

Read ‘Reba McEntire: 11 Things to Know About the Country Music Legend’ here.