Since her self-titled debut LP was released 41 years ago next month, Reba McEntire has spotlighted the songs of hundreds of writers, including Layng Martine Jr., who penned her first chart single, “I Don’t Want to Be a One Night Stand.” In recognition of her significant influence on the songwriting careers of more than 40 tunesmiths, who, like Martine, have been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, McEntire will be honored as the inaugural recipient of the organization’s Career Maker Award during the 48th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala, on Sunday, October 28th, at Nashville’s Music City Center.
Throughout her career, McEntire has recorded some 80 songs – including 33 singles – written or co-written by members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, representing about 20 percent of the prestigious organization’s entire membership, according to songwriter Pat Alger, chairman of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors.
“[Reba] has supported songwriters throughout her career and was one of the first industry leaders to help the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame build our Hall of Fame Gallery at the Music City Center,” Alger says in a statement. “Her Hall of Fame career as an artist has in turn helped create so many other Hall of Fame careers for songwriters. Once she chooses your song and puts her inimitable stamp on it, you begin to understand why you became a songwriter in the first place. She is indisputably a great singer who continues to transform a diverse catalog of songs into works of art of the highest order. Simply put, when Reba sings your song, it’s not likely to get any better than that.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala comes just weeks ahead of another prestigious honor for the multiple-Grammy-, ACM- and CMA-award-winning performer and actress. In December, McEntire will be among the latest recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, making her the first honoree to represent country music since Merle Haggard in 2010 and only the third female country artist – in addition to Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton – to be honored. The Kennedy Center Honors gala will be broadcast December 26th at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
This year’s inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will be announced next month.