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Getty Images - Instagram/reba
Source: Getty Images - Instagram/reba

Reba McEntire Did Not Want to Divorce 2nd Husband 'In Any Shape' — He Moved on with Her Friend, Said Report

Esther NJeri
Jul 05, 2022
07:00 A.M.
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Reba McEntire thought her marriage to her second husband was going great, but after 26 years, she was shocked when he filed for divorce. McEntire was not on board, but what could she do? She held her head high and soon found love with a friend of 29 years.

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Reba McEntire met her first husband, Charlie Battles, in 1975, just as her career began taking off. Battles was a decade older than the then-21-year-old McEntire and was married with two children.

After being acquainted for a short while, Battles, a former world champion steer-wrestler, decided he wanted to divorce his wife and marry McEntire, which left McEntire shocked.

Reba McEntire at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 11 2007 | Source: Getty Images

Reba McEntire at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 11 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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Everything seemed to go well for McEntire. She had married her dream man, and he wholly supported her singing career, even signing up as her manager. However, in the 80s, when McEntire's career started gaining traction, and she was ready to take the world by storm, her husband wanted her to take things easy. She recalls:

"I guess I chose my career over my marriage."

After 11 years, McEntire chose her career and filed for divorce in 1987. On top of battling the aftermath of divorce, she also had to deal with fans' criticism.

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Most of her fans did not understand how a woman who had built her entire career on a home-sweet-home image could suddenly get divorced. The court of public opinion had a lot to say, and they were not kind to the singer. As fate would have it, McEntire underwent a second divorce years later, and it was nothing like her first.

REBA WAS SURPRISED WHEN HER SECOND HUSBAND OF 26 YEARS FILED FOR DIVORCE

After her divorce from Battles, McEntire soon fell in love with Narvel Blackstock, a guitarist in her band. They married in 1989 on a catamaran on Lake Tahoe, and Blackstock became McEntire's manager through his company, Starstruck Entertainment.

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Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock attend a private sunset reception at Minerva Beach Italy on September 5, 2014 in Florence, Italy. | Source: Getty Images

Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock attend a private sunset reception at Minerva Beach Italy on September 5, 2014 in Florence, Italy. | Source: Getty Images

McEntire and Blackstock's marriage was the embodiment of perfection. Their lives crossed personally and professionally; all anyone looking from the outside saw was an incredibly dynamic and compelling duo.

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However, after 25 years of marriage, Blackstock filed for divorce. No one had anticipated it, especially not McEntire. She said during an interview with CMT Radio, as Nicki Swift reports:

"The divorce was not my idea. I didn't want it in any shape, form, or fashion. So it was really hard to make the adjustment."

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McEntire was not one to cry over spilled milk and soon after picked up the broken pieces of her heart and bounced back to her music. She left Starstruck Entertainment and started managing herself through her company, Rebas Business Incorporated (RBI).

The "Back to God" songstress credits her strength during the hard times to her faith. During her interview with iHeartRadio station CMT Radio Live, the "I'm A Survivor" songstress shared how she had sought strength from God, as DailyMail writes:

"I've prayed every day to help me have the strength to move one foot in front of the other, to continue on with what I'm supposed to be doing and why he put me on this earth in the first place."

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WAS REBA'S SECOND HUSBAND UNFAITHFUL?

Narvel Blackstock poses during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XV held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. | Source: Getty Images

Narvel Blackstock poses during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XV held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. | Source: Getty Images

There is no textbook timeline for moving on after a divorce. However, moving on as fast as Blackstock did after 26 years of marriage is bound to raise eyebrows. A month after his and McEntire's divorce became final in December 2015, he was already in a new relationship.

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While some speculated that a business misunderstanding triggered Blackstock and McEntire's divorce, others said the marriage failed due to Blackstock's relationship with Nashville power real estate agent Laura Putty Stroud.

Stroud was no stranger to the couple and was even known as a close friend to McEntire. According to Page Six, she was McEntire and Blackstock's mutual friend, as evident from one of McEntire's 2014 Instagram photos, where McEntire appears alongside Stroud and Warner Music Executive Shane Tarleton at a Katy Perry concert.

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However, it remained unclear when Blackstock and Stroud started dating. Nevertheless, they seemed serious about their relationship, with rumors of a wedding shortly after the news of their dating became public. A Nashville country source told Page Six:

"They are very serious. It's unclear when they started dating. The word on the street is that they're getting married."

The news could have been devastating to anyone, especially for McEntire, who could never be sure whether her husband had been dating Stroud when they were still married. However, McEntire did not sweat it.

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She appeared unfazed by the unfolding events, and as a source disclosed, she would not be airing her personal life in public. A source, who did not acknowledge Blackstock's new relationship at the time, shared how strong McEntire had been through the whole saga:

"Every time I have seen Reba since the split, she has been in great spirits and focused as ever on her work. Reba's a pro."

REBA FOUND LOVE AGAIN WITH HER FRIEND OF 29 YEARS

All was not lost for country icon McEntire. Even after life had thrown her so many blows, she still rose, pieced her life back together, and even found love again with boyfriend Rex Linn.

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While McEntire and Linn only started dating at the beginning of 2020, they'd known each other for three decades. They first met in 1991 when both working on the Kenny Rogers movie "The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw."

They established a friendship and kept in touch over the years, with McEntire disclosing that they knew the same people. When they went out in January 2020, it was like good friends getting back together to grab dinner.

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The country musician and her new beau spent the covid quarantine period texting and talking on the phone, getting to know each other. They finally went public with their relationship in October of that same year.

They made their first red carpet debut in November 2020 and have been inseparable since. They even have cute pet names for each other. McEntire calls Linn "my Sugar Tot," while he refers to her as "Tater Tot." As their relationship progresses, they continue toying with the idea of marriage, and it just might be a possibility in the future.

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