Best Reba McEntire Songs: Top 5 Country Tracks Most Recommended By Fans

Today, we get to talk about “the Queen of Country,” the fiery redhead that has been entertaining the world for decades, the “single mom who works two jobs,” the one and only Reba McEntire. Starting her career in 1975, when she signed her first solo recording contract, it wouldn’t be till the early ’80s that Reba would get her first big break with a number-one single on Billboard’s country chart, “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” This would start a chain reaction of Reba songs topping the country charts and the start of her building herself a name amongst country musicians. She would even go on to win her first Grammy (out of three) for her song “Whoever’s in New England.” By the ’90s, Reba was a powerhouse, releasing hit singles and critically acclaimed albums left and right. She would even go on to play the gun-toting Annie Oakley in the Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” in which her portrayal was so iconic, it’s still talked about today. And no, we didn’t forget her well-known sitcom. Reba also starred in the popular WB show “Reba” for six seasons. With such a long and illustrious career making up some of the best Reba songs and exhilarating performances on stage as well as on film and TV, Reba has left nothing short of genius art in her midst. And this year, she will be singing the national anthem for Super Bowl LVIII on February 11. 

Country music as a whole is its own art form. The genre prioritizes storytelling in its writing, and no better example of this is Reba’s music. Country music also tends to be less vulgar in its lyrics when compared to today’s pop hits. Researchers from the University of Missouri say that not only do pop songs contain similar levels of violent lyrics as hip-hop songs, but nearly a third have lyrics that degrade women by sexually objectifying them or presenting them as submissive. Country music, however, was found to be the least violent and misogynistic of the genres. In addition to promoting positive values, country music also often resonates with listeners on a deeply emotional level. Reba’s music, for instance, explores themes of love, heartbreak, and resilience, making her songs relatable to many. With its heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies, country music has the power to touch people’s hearts and uplift their spirits in a way that few other genres can.

And uplift our spirits it will, with a new study showing that music has the power to aid in mental health struggles. A team from Ryerson University says treatments integrating music and auditory beat stimulation are particularly effective in reducing anxiety in some patients. Auditory beat stimulation (ABS) involves combinations of tones played in one or both ears, designed to trigger changes to brain activity. Studies show that anxiety has been steadily increasing, particularly among teenagers and young adults, over recent decades. However, previous experiments have demonstrated that listening to music can reduce anxiety, perhaps even more effectively than some anti-anxiety medications. That’s even more of a reason to turn on your favorite tunes.

Who knew music could have so much of an effect on our brain functions, right? As always, we at StudyFinds have researched across 10 expert sources to bring you today’s ranking of the best Reba McEntire songs of all time. Don’t agree with our list? No worries, we would love to hear your favorites in the comments down below. But until then, onto the list!

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StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Reba McEntire at the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards Arrivals
Reba McEntire at the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards Arrivals (Photo by s_bukley on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Reba McEntire Songs, According To Fans

1. “Fancy” (1990)

First up on our list goes the tale of Fancy Rae Baker and the basis for the iconic red dress Reba is known for. “Fancy” stands out as a cornerstone of Reba McEntire’s career, as Country 102.5 emphatically declares. Its epic nature, both in song and video, and its consistent presence at her shows solidify its iconic status. Originally written and performed by Bobbie Gentry in 1969, the song has taken on new life with McEntire’s powerful rendition.

Country Thang Daily dives into the song’s dark narrative, focusing on Fancy, a woman now reflecting on her past. We are transported to her 18th summer, marked by poverty and desperation. Her mother, determined to break the cycle, makes a devastating sacrifice: sending Fancy into prostitution with a new identity. While Fancy finds success, the memory of her mother’s love and sacrifice is a constant source of pain.

While not necessarily McEntire’s biggest hit commercially, Classic Rock History emphasizes the unforgettable vocal performance she delivers. Released on the “Rumor Has It” album, it peaked at number eight on both the U.S. and Canadian country charts. Even without topping the charts, “Fancy” has resonated deeply with audiences, cementing its place as a powerful and poignant masterpiece in McEntire’s repertoire.

2. “Does He Love You” (1993)

The second spot on our ranking goes to this powerhouse duet. “Does He Love You,” released in 1993, stands as a cornerstone of Reba McEntire’s career. As FreshersLive describes, it’s a poignant ballad featuring the powerful vocals of both McEntire and Linda Davis. Their emotional delivery takes listeners on a journey through themes of love, longing, and betrayal, making it a signature track for McEntire.

Midder Music delves deeper, highlighting the song’s anthem-like qualities. Its empowering lyrics and McEntire’s masterful vocals resonated with audiences, turning it into a crowd favorite for decades. It champions female strength and resilience, reminding listeners of their ability to overcome heartbreak.

Country Now provides historical context, noting its position as the single female duet to top the Billboard Country charts for 28 years. Featuring McEntire’s then-background singer, Linda Davis, the song was a critical success, winning awards for Vocal Event of the Year and Best Country Vocal Collaboration.

3. “Whoever’s in New England” (1986)

For our next song pick, we are going to have to travel to Massachusetts, where Reba’s man has been spending an awful lot of time. McEntire’s 1986 title track, “Whoever’s in New England,” as described by Holler, is a stormy ballad fueled by suspicion and swirling emotions. The song explores a wife’s questioning of her husband’s frequent “business trips” to Massachusetts, leaving her wondering if something more is brewing amidst the cold northern air. This powerful ballad not only rocketed to number one on the charts but also garnered McEntire her first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal.

Taste of Country highlights the song’s significance in McEntire’s career, marking a pivotal turning point. Not only did it offer her first commercially successful power ballad, but it also showcased her acting talents in the song’s accompanying music video, setting the stage for her future video endeavors. This multi-faceted success led to McEntire’s first Grammy for Female Vocalist and the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year honor in 1986.

Billboard underscores the song’s lasting legacy, describing it as a career-defining moment. It propelled McEntire beyond the country music scene, establishing her as a headlining act and solidifying her status as a household name. “Whoever’s in New England” not only resonated with audiences emotionally but also marked a critical turning point in Reba McEntire’s musical journey.

4. “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (1991)

The fourth spot goes to the 1991 cover of “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia .” With this song, we have yet another tale of adultery, this time coming to a tragic end. Originally penned by Bobby Russell and brought to fame by actress Vicki Lawrence in the early ’70s, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” gained a whole new life with Reba McEntire’s powerful rendition on her “For My Broken Heart” album.

As Country 102.5 notes, McEntire’s version elevates the song to new heights, captivating audiences with her signature vocals. The Boot dives deeper, revealing the song’s dark core: a chilling tale of adultery, corruption, and murder. The shocking twist lies in the final verse, where we discover the narrator, the younger sister, is the culprit who got away with it all.

Holler emphasizes the song’s gothic undertones and emotional complexity. They highlight McEntire’s ability to inject even more power and intrigue into the narrative, transforming it into a gripping tale of loyalty, betrayal, and ultimately, cold-blooded revenge.

Whether you’re familiar with the original or discovering it anew through McEntire’s compelling performance, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” remains a captivating journey through darkness and secrets, leaving listeners both chilled and enthralled.

5. “I’m A Survivor” (2001)

Last but certainly not least is “I’m A Survivor.” This is the ultimate Reba sing-along song that was featured as the theme song in her sitcom, “Reba.” This hit song transcends its chart-topping success and theme song status to become a powerful anthem of resilience and self-belief. As The Boot describes, the lyrics, penned by Shelby Kennedy and Phillip White, declare a rejection of self-pity and embrace personal strength, proclaiming: “I may be the queen of broken hearts / But I don’t hide behind the crown.”

This song embodies what Reba stands for as an artist and a woman in the music and entertainment industry. Taste of Country connects the song’s message to McEntire’s personal and professional journey. The “inspirational message” resonates with McEntire’s own spirit, making it an impactful choice.

Midder Music delves further, praising the song’s empowering nature. They commend the “booming power chords” and lyrics, both contributing to its staying power and classic status. The memorable chorus and distinct guitar riffs serve as reminders of the song’s message, encouraging listeners facing challenges to tap into their inner strength.

Ultimately, “I’m a Survivor” stands as a timeless anthem, transcending genre and generation. It serves as a beacon of hope and resilience, reminding us that even in the midst of hardship, we can rise above and emerge stronger.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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