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Reba McEntire won a Grammy Award in the Best Roots Gospel Album category Sunday night for her project, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope.” It’s Reba’s third Grammy overall and her first win since 1994.

She was there at the Grammy pre-telecast ceremony Jan. 28 in New York City to accept the trophy, and her thoughts quickly turned to a late friend who helped make this gospel project possible.

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During her speech, Reba mentioned the recent loss of Bill Hearn, who was the head of the Capitol Christian Music Group record label that signed on to release Reba’s spiritual album. He passed away in December following a battle with cancer.

She said, “Bill Hearn’s not with us to be here to celebrate this today. I know he’s looking down on us. I’ll never forget the day we were sitting there in Nashville with Bill and [Big Machine Label Group executive] Jim Weatherson and our team talking about doing a gospel album.”

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Reba went on to discuss how winning a Grammy in the gospel category was new for her.

“I’m a country artist,” Reba said, drawing laughter from the audience. “But I’ve been singing the songs that’s on this album all my life — on the pond dam there at grandma’s house singing ‘Oh, How I Love Jesus’ [and] ‘When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.’ And it’s so great to get those songs on an album.”

The country superstar then got emotional as she talked about the work God has done through her gospel album.

She said, “Our job in the entertainment business is to heal hearts. That’s what God put me on this earth for. I know it is, with the music, and to help other people. I know it is. Music is so healing. I love my job. I’m so grateful to get to do it.”

She then lifted the Grammy up and said, “I’m gonna give this back to God.”

Reba was one of the many artists at the Grammys wearing a white rose as a nod to the Time’s Up movement and the ongoing fight against sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. On the red carpet, Reba told “USA Today,” “Everyone should treat people like they want to be treated. Just be kind.”

Reba’s big Grammy night came on the heels of a fun-filled weekend with her team in the Big Apple.

On Friday night, she took in a performance of the Broadway musical, “Come From Away.”

On Saturday night, Reba and her boyfriend, Skeeter Lassuzzo, met up backstage with pop stars Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz after seeing them star in Sara’s Broadway musical, “Waitress.”

Skeeter also accompanied Reba on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. She introduced him as her new man in this interview with “Entertainment Tonight.”

When asked what was the best part of their new relationship, Reba said, “We like to have fun, whether it’s in the mountains or in New York City.”

The reporter asked Skeeter how he was doing on what is presumably his first red carpet. He said, “I’m doing great. Just following her and enjoying the night with her,” he added, looking at Reba.

Congrats on your new relationship and your new Grammy, Reba!

Reba McEntire walks the Grammy red carpet with her new boyfriend Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy
Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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