Reba McEntire Received ‘Outraged Letters’ About Her Iconic Red Dress


When Reba McEntire took the stage in a revealing red dress for the 1993 CMA Awards, she felt “spectacular.” And she received a response from the public as soon as she stepped out to perform her hit song, “Does He Love You,” with her duet partner Linda Davis.

But some viewers were unhappy with McEntire’s attire, and they sent “outraged letters” to Nashville newspapers to let it be known. So what did she think of the dress after all the fuss?

Reba McEntire | Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for ACM

According to McEntire’s autobiography, Reba: My story, she was recovering from foot surgery when her famous red dress was created in 1993. Her friend and designer, Sandi Spika, came to her house with samples and samples so they could collect ideas.

“I chose a crimson fabric with blood red beads and rhinestones,” McEntire wrote. Next, Spika made the country star’s now-famous dress, which lay in bed with her foot lifted above her heart. As a result, she didn’t get many proper adjustments before the big night.

Even after Spika added a few extra pearls in “all the right places,” McEntire’s ex-husband Narvel Blackstock “raised his eyebrows” when he saw her in a dress in her dressing room.

Reba McEntire received ‘outraged letters’ for her famous red dress

When McEntire first arrived on stage at the CMA Awards in her red dress, she said it was “spectacular” to hear the audience’s response. But she realized that some of what she thought were “oohs and aahs” about her look were “gasps” about the “weakness of [her] neck.”

As she shared Reba: my story, the dress “shocked” some people. Thus, “outraged letters” were printed in the Nashville dailies. And one viewer was so angry he called a Nashville radio station to “strongly protest” McEntire’s fashion.

Regardless of what anyone else thought, she and the dress were having a good time. She visited Jay Leno on The show tonight two weeks after the CMA Awards. “[The dress] was the first thing Jay asked about,” McEntire wrote.

Tabloids ran headlines suggesting her parents were among the “outraged” viewers, but McEntire denied this. His mum commented that he needed more glitter, and his dad asked if it was upside down, but neither was upset with his choice, according to her.

She confessed that the dress was ultimately “bolder” than she had anticipated or realized in the ’90s. But how did she feel about it after the time ran out?

Reba McEntire “really liked the red dress” and wore it again

In 2018, McEntire wore the same red dress again to the ACM Awards. She performed “Does He Love You,” like in 1993, but with Kelly Clarkson as her duet partner.

Turns out she’s always had a thing for the dress despite what other people thought about it. “I really liked the 90s red dress,” she told People in 2018 per the Reba website. “It was like seeing an old friend again.”

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