"If I had seven minutes in Heavеn / I'd spend them all with you," sings McEntire on an emotional new song dedicated to her mom, who died in 2020
On Monday, the Queen of Country posted to social media to share a series of photos of herself with her late mother, who died of cancer in March 2020, thanking fans for supporting her emotional new song "Seven Minutes in Heaven," which was inspired by Jacqueline.
"I’ve been so touched seeing all the videos y’all have been making using 'Seven Minutes in Heaven' in dedication to your loved ones," wrote McEntire, 68. "I dedicated this song to my Mama. She took a trip to heaven in 2020 and I’d give anything to visit her up there for seven minutes."
Earlier this month, the Reba star released a lifestyle book called Not That Fancy filled with recipes and stories about her life and career. The title arrived alongside a new album of the same name, which features acoustic versions of her hits as well as "Seven Minutes in Heaven."
Written by Olivia Rudeen and Matt Wynn, the touching ballad finds McEntire musing on what would happen if she was given seven minutes to visit a deceased loved one in the afterlife. Upon listening to it for the first time, she thought about Jacqueline.
“When you find a song that really touches your heart and chokes you up, I gotta sing it. I gotta record it, and that’s what you’re always looking for, is a song that touches your heart," the Grammy winner told Today in a recent interview. "That way, when I sing it, hopefully it’ll touch your heart too.”
During the interview, McEntire also opened up about how she nearly quit music following Jacqueline's death, recalling a conversation had with her sister Susie as they went through their parents' belongings.
"I was going through pictures. I said, ‘I just don’t think I’m gonna do this anymore.’ She said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Sing,'" explained the "Fancy" performer. "I said, ‘I always did it for Mama.’ She said, ‘Oh, you’ll get it back.’ I did."
Before McEntire's career took off in the '70s, she and siblings Susie, Alice and Pake learned how to sing from Jacqueline, sparking Reba's love for the art form. "She was really encouraging for all of us kids, whatever we wanted to do," she said. "She taught us harmony."
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Throughout the children's years in high school, they were known as "the singing McEntires," thanks to Jacqueline — who wan't afraid to let them know if they missed a note.
"Anytime anybody needed an opinion of who’s off — Susie’s on my part, I’m on Susie’s part — Mama would come in with her spatula after she was frying potatoes," said McEntire, mimicking a pointing motion her mom would make with the utensil. "She would say, ‘OK, Reba, you’re on Susie’s part. Sing it again.’ We’d sing it, and she’d say, ‘Oh, that’s perfect,’ and she’d go back in and keep frying potatoes.”
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