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Reba McEntire: Comeback Queen

As a superstar Reba McEntire returns with her first No.1 hit in six years, her rip-roarin' TV career has given her a more stable home life, a refreshing outlook on music—and some new close friends.

"I'm loving both worlds," she declares. "Absolutely, all of it."

"All of it" covers quite a bit. Her wildly popular sitcom, Reba, is now in its fourth season on the WB network, where it’s a ratings winner. She’s knockin’ ’em dead on her first tour in three years, also a big hit.

If it seemed that her amazing success away from Nashville—which also included a star turn in the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun—was taking away from her country career, well, no more. She just defied the odds by celebrating her first No. 1 in six years with “Somebody,” which also happens to be her 53rd Top 10 hit—a feat unequaled by any other female except Dolly Parton, who has 55. With "Somebody," Reba also set a record for the woman with the longest span of No. 1 hits—her first was "Can't Even Get the Blues," in 1983—extending a chart run that most other 50-year-old music veterans can only sit back and envy.

With "Somebody," Reba is country’s biggest comeback story in years. It’s poetic justice that the song would turn out to be her career-renewing smash—it’s a tune that hits close to home. The lyrics weave a tale of romantic surprise between a diner customer and his usual waitress as they both discover the love they’ve been searching for was already in front of them. It’s a story that resonates for Reba and her husband-manager, Narvel Blackstock, who worked together for years before their relationship turned romantic.

Reba didn’t get the connection when she first recorded the song. "Honestly, I thought about that later," she says. “The more I started singing it, I said, ‘Gosh, that’s mine and Narvel’s song!’”