Country superstar Reba McEntire is on the brink of a professional resurgence once again, but she recently considered quitting music for good after a very personal loss.

Appearing on NBC’s “Today” Tuesday, McEntire said she questioned her future as a singer in the weeks after her mother, Jacqueline Smith, died of cancer in March 2020.

The star and her sister Susie “were cleaning out the house, and I was going through pictures,” McEntire explained. “I said, ‘I just don’t think I’m gonna do this anymore.’ She said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Sing.’ She said, ‘Why?’ I said, I said, ‘Cause I always did it for Mama.’”

It was clear throughout the interview that McEntire is still grieving Smith’s death. As co-host Hoda Kotb pointed out, the singer glanced away as photos of her mother were displayed on the “Today” studio’s screens.

“I can’t talk if I see Mama,” McEntire said.

Reba McEntire (right) with her mother, Jacqueline Smith, in 2016.
Reba McEntire (right) with her mother, Jacqueline Smith, in 2016.

Michael Tran via Getty Images

Fortunately for her fans, McEntire rediscovered her passion for music ― as well as other creative endeavors.

This month, she unveiled a new album and lifestyle book, both titled “Not That Fancy.” She’s also endeared herself to a brand-new audience on NBC’s “The Voice,” serving as a coach alongside Niall Horan, John Legend and Gwen Stefani.

Fittingly, McEntire has made sure Smith’s memory lives on through her music. Her latest single, “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” pays tribute to her mom.

These days, the singer has found a newfound source of support in her boyfriend, Rex Linn. The couple first met on the set of the 1991 film, “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw,” and finally reconnected over dinner in January 2020 while both were appearing on the CBS series “Young Sheldon.”

Though the COVID-19 pandemic kept Linn and McEntire apart for the early part of that year, they confirmed their relationship in October 2020.

In a separate interview on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” McEntire was asked if she and Linn had considered tying the knot, to which she replied: “That would be up to him.”

“I’ve been married twice, he’s never been married,” she explained. “So if he wants to, that’s totally up to him.”

Watch Reba McEntire’s “Today” interview below.

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