Reba McEntire Iconic Low Cut Dress: A 1990 CMA Awards Fashion That Made Waves

Reba McEntire Iconic Low Cut Dress: Reba McEntire, the redheaded country star, created quite a sensation at the 27th annual Country Music Association Awards three decades ago when she donned a bold red dress on the red carpet. While it wasn’t as daring as some of the more revealing outfits we see at today’s awards shows, McEntire’s low-cut gown was considered quite scandalous in the relatively conservative world of 1990s country music. The star, known for her wholesome image, shocked many with her risqué fashion choice that evening.

“I was pretty, you know, straight-laced, and I’m sure it shocked everybody that I would do a low dress. It was pretty scandalous for me,” recalls McEntire, a five-time CMA winner and 51-time nominee, as she reflects on the upcoming CMA Awards ceremony.

Interestingly, McEntire didn’t intend to wear such a revealing gown that night at the Grand Ole Opry, where she performed “Does He Love You” with Linda Davis. The dress was designed by the veteran Nashville customer Sandi Spika Borchetta, who now holds the position of executive vice president of Creative at Big Machine Label Group and is married to Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta. Spika had reassured the singer that the finished look would be more modest.

Reba McEntire Iconic Low-Cut Dress A 1990 CMA Awards Fashion That Made Waves (2)

McEntire shares the story: “The story was Sandi Spika had made it for me, and we had had one fitting at the office. And I said, ‘Now, Sandy, you are going to fill this [cleavage area] in here, aren’t you?’ She said, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, we’ll fill in; it’ll be real sparkly.’ I said, ‘Great.’ So, we were at the Grand Ole Opry House, and I tried it on, and I looked in the mirror and I said, ‘Sandy, this is still really low-cut!’ She said, ‘Oh, I think it’s the lighting in here.'”

The first indication that the plunging neckline gown would garner significant attention came when McEntire crossed paths with the country legend Kris Kristofferson backstage at the Opry. “I walked down the hall, and I was going to go stage left, and Kris Kristofferson is walking towards me. And he goes, ‘Wow, you look beautiful tonight!’ I said, ‘Thank you so much!’ I go stage left, and I’m getting ready [to perform], and I walk out first, and I hear the crowd [roar]. And I thought, ‘Dang, I look good!'”

Nevertheless, McEntire’s sister, contemporary Christian singer Susie McEntire, and her parents were in the audience that night and were utterly taken aback. “Susie and Mama were in the audience, and Mama just grabbed her arms, said, ‘Oh, Susie…'” Reba laughs. “After the show, we go back to the office and meet up with Mom and Daddy and everybody, and Daddy comes over to me. He said, ‘Reba, did you have that dress on backward?’ So, yeah… I guess it was a little low.”

Despite the surprise, McEntire faced no significant post-CMAs backlash. “Everybody was just surprised; I don’t think anybody burned my records or anything!” she jests. She has never regretted wearing the iconic outfit. In fact, she still owns the dress, and she even wore it again during a performance with Kelly Clarkson on the CMAs five years ago, proving that it has left an indelible mark on her image.

“As a matter of fact, I wore it when Kelly Clarkson and I did ‘Does He Love You’ on the CMAs [five] years ago,” the 68-year-old superstar says with a smile.

Also read: Barbra Streisand Golden Years: Family, Love, and a Memoir of Legacy

Our Reader’s Queries

How old is Reba McEntire and how much is she worth?

No shocker here, Reba McEntire’s wealth is through the roof – a whopping $95 million. Over her many years in the industry, the 68-year-old Country Queen has sold more than 90 million records globally. Her impressive music career has landed her three Grammys and 19 Academy of Country Music Awards.

What nationality is Reba McEntire?

Born on March 28, 1955 in McAlester, Oklahoma, Reba McEntire stands as a renowned American singer and actress. Recognized as one of the leading female country vocal artists of the late 20th century, she successfully transitioned to become a popular television star, achieving crossover success in the process.

What was Reba’s first number one hit?

In the mid-1970s, Reba McEntire started her music career, but it wasn’t until a few years later that she hit number one with the 1982 song “Can’t Even Get the Blues” from her Unlimited album.

Is Reba McEntire children?

From 1990 onwards, Reba McEntire has shown endless love for her son Shelby Steven McEntire Blackstock. Shelby, the son of Reba and her ex-husband Narvel Blackstock, was born a year after their wedding in 1989. Reba and Narvel were together for 26 years before their divorce in 2015.

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