When Reba McEntire married her manager Narvel Blackstock in 1989, she automatically became the mother to his three children from his previous marriage. Two years later, on February 23, 1990, Reba and Narvel welcomed a son into the world, their first and only child together, whom they named Shelby.
Shelby was much younger than his half-siblings, and as Reba’s only biological child the two have always shared a special connection. He ended up going on tour with Reba and his father when he was young, and he helped out by working for his parents as well.
“It wasn’t forced on me,” Shelby told Nash Country Weekly. “I just wanted to go work on the road anyways. I was a full-on roadie. I’d go out on tour for two, three weeks at a time…It was awesome as a kid.”
Despite Shelby’s youthful fascination with tour life, he eventually decided that the music business wasn’t the right fit for him. Instead, Shelby chose to pursue a career as a race car driver, which still stays true to his family’s roots. As it turns out, many of Reba’s family members are active in rodeo, and even Reba herself did rodeo barrel racing when she was younger.
“I knew the competition and the thrill of it, and the danger—that makes it even better—I knew what [Shelby] was wanting,” Reba said. “He’s a third-generation competitive brat.“
Ever since Reba and Narvel divorced on October 28, 2015, she’s been trying to spend as much time as she can with the main man in her life, Shelby.
In honor of this incredible mother-son duo in country music, we’ve gathered together some of Reba and Shelby’s cutest photos and moments throughout the years.
Photo Credit: Reba McEntire Instagram
Although Reba loves her stepchildren, Shawna, Chassidy and Brandon, who is married to Kelly Clarkson, she admits that the connection between her and Shelby is strong, since they are related by blood.
“Having that one kid from when you see them on the sonogram screen, it was me and him,” Reba told Nash Country Weekly.
Reba has been open with the fact that she experienced some difficulties during her pregnancy with Shelby, and she even had to be placed on bed rest at one point. But she would go through it all a thousand times over again, because Shelby was more than worth it to her.
“In my fifth month of pregnancy, I was in the hospital twice and had to be put on bed rest with a magnesium drip in my stomach,” she said. “And they said, ‘Was it worth it?’ And I said, ‘I would have hung by my toenails for this kid.’“
Photo Credit: Denise Simmons Pinterest
Although Shelby did not chose to pursue a career in music, he is still extremely proud of Reba and has a great admiration for her work. In 2011, Shelby was by Reba’s side to help her celebrate a major accomplishment, when she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Reba was inducted into the Hall of Fame by fellow country superstar, Dolly Parton, during a ceremony that took place on May 22, 2011. Shelby stopped to pose for some pictures with his mother, who despite her celebrity status, he says is like anyone else.
“Overall, she’s just your average, everyday person, to be honest,” Shelby told Nash Country Weekly. “She’s not any different. You could walk up to her and start a conversation. That’s just the kind of person she is and how she is, an overall loving person.“
As for Shelby’s favorite song of his mother’s? Like many others, his all-time favorite is “Fancy,” which he says is awesome to see Reba perform live.
“That’s definitely one song that seeing live is worth seeing just because it’s such a good show ending,” he said.
Photo Credit: Daytona Beach News-Journal
On January 28, 2011, Shelby raced in his first professional race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Reba was able to attend the race, and needless to say, she was a nervous wreck. In fact, she even admits that she nearly fainted the first time she saw him race.
“I had my little Flip camera up and I watched them go by and all I could see was this little baby face of Shelby in that helmet. And my tour manager, Carolyn Snell, was with me. And when the green flag dropped, it was 83 cars, and I knew they had to funnel down to this one left-hand turn. When he flew by at 100 miles an hour, I just had to go sit down.”
Of course, Shelby ended up being just fine, and actually had a successful first race. Reba took to her blog to talk about the race later, bragging up her son like any devoted mama does.
“Shelby took the car from 25th place to 1st place at the end of his turn. Very impressive!…watching Shelby on the track racing at 170 mph was the biggest rush I’ve ever had!!…Congrats to Shelby on his first professional race!” she wrote.
Photo Credit: Reba McEntire Instagram
Following Reba and Narvel’s divorce, the start of 2016 marked the start of a new phase in Reba’s life. And who else would Reba chose to celebrate the New Year and her new life than her beloved son?
On New Year’s Eve Reba shared a photo of her and Shelby wearing their New Year’s party hats and smiling at the camera.
“25th time to celebrate NYE with my best buddy,” Reba wrote in a caption to the photo. “2016! Bring it on!!!!! Happy new year, everybody!“
Even though Reba and Shelby have busy schedules, according to Reba’s Instagram the two of them manage to make the time to meet up with one another. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise from the two of them, since they are not only mother and son, but close friends.
Shelby may be 26 now, but in Reba’s eyes he’s still her little guy.
“Oh, me. He’s got me wrapped around his little finger,” she said. “Oh my God, he’s the love of my life.”
When Shelby was still a little boy, Reba filmed a short video with him as they walked around a lake and played together. In the video, Reba spoke about her advice for Shelby as he grows up, saying “Mainly it’s the golden rule: treat other people the way you want to be treated. Be fair, be honest, make sure your word means something when you say it.“
You can watch the adorable video below.
Knowing the incredible man Shelby is today, we’d say he definitely listened to his mama’s advice.
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