RARE COUNTRY AWARDS: Watch the recap of this year's award winners and live performances by Kane Brown, LANCO & RaeLynn
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Reba McEntire may not have been expecting it, but her fans wouldn’t have had it any other way. Thanks to their enthusiastic voting, Reba’s 40th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member was named the Rare Country Awards Opry Moment of the Year during a live concert event at Acme Feed and Seed in downtown Nashville on Dec. 14.

The super sweet and sassy spitfire shared her gratitude in a video saying, “Hey, thanks very much. Y’all are so sweet. Thanks to Rare Country, to the Opry, to all my fans, I appreciate y’all more than you know. Have fun!”

RELATEDReba McEntire and Carrie Underwood face off singing “Does He Love You” at the Grand Ole Opry

Reba’s amazing Sept. 22 anniversary celebration at the iconic Grand Ole Opry was filled with music from some of her dearest friends and fellow Okies Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill. In fact, it was an Oklahoma throwdown when Carrie, who hails from Checotah, went toe-to-toe with the fiery redhead from McAlester in the classic Reba and Linda Davis duet from 1993, “Does He Love You.”

Reba clearly remembers her 1977 debut appearance on the Opry. She tells the sweetest story about her set being cut short when the legendary Dolly Parton made a surprise visit that same night. She didn’t mind, though. She was just thrilled to watch one of her heroes and inspirations on that sacred stage.

She might have felt that same thrill the night of her anniversary party when Dolly surprised her yet again by casually strolling onstage.

RELATEDDolly Parton just gave Reba McEntire the shock of a lifetime

As comical and light-hearted as Reba is, the night wasn’t without a few happy tears when Carrie brought an oversized cake to the stage and the audience sang along.  Of course, Vince loves a chuckle, too, so while Carrie supplied the cake, he took care of the tissues. And Dolly? Well, she had the punchline when she said, “He wants to give you a snot rag.”

Reba’s Rare Country Award for Opry Moment of the Year caps off what has been a pretty spectacular year for the country superstar. Early in the year, Reba released her two-disc gospel collection, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.” In November, she learned that the project had been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Congratulations Reba on your well-deserved honor!

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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