They don't call her the Queen of Country for no reason. Reba McEntire started singing and performing at a really young age — she and her siblings had formed a band by high school, and were playing local shows under the name the Singing McEntires.

Once her older brother graduated high school, they all went their separate ways (We have scoured the internet for video footage of one of those performances, but to no avail).

So, McEntire went on to college to pursue a degree in teaching, with a minor in music. In 1974, her father encouraged her to take a job opportunity singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.

From there, she was heard by country artist Red Steagall, who agreed to meet with McEntire, her mom and their siblings. She performed on the spot for him, and Steagall told McEntire's mother that he couldn't take all three of her kids to Nashville, but he could help Reba, because she had something special.

She made her breakthrough in Nashville in the fall of 1975, when she was signed to Mercury Records. The rest, as they say, is history.

McEntire has grown to become an American icon and household name. From acting to singing, to now coaching on The Voice, this country queen seems to have had the most delightful career, and she hasn't slowed down.

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Reba McEntire is one of the most revered country stars of all time — but also in entertainment. She's been successful as both an actor and a singer since the 1970s, and nearly 50 years later, she's in headlines as much as ever. Look back at photos of Reba when she was younger, before she became the star we know today.

Gallery Credit: Evan Paul

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Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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