Country icon Reba McEntire and her boyfriend, actor Rex Linn, recently celebrated their two year anniversary.
With in-person dates off the table in March 2020 due to the pandemic, the superstar couple began a routine of early morning phone calls and video chats they called "coffee camp." Those socially-distanced dates continue today.
"We've not missed a morning," McEntire said (as quoted by Taste of Country). "I don't care if I'm doing Good Morning America while I'm in Nashville, so I have to get up at, like, 5, and he's out here in L.A., so he's at 3 o'clock [AM]. We have not missed a morning."
A Country Star in Love
During a Nov. 2020 interview with Good Morning America, McEntire said her current relationship makes her feel like a "giddy teenager again" and is even having an impact on the types of songs she sings.
"I'm in love, so that really inspires me to find love songs, to find happy songs," McEntire said. "I've always been the queen of waltzes, the queen of sad songs, because I just gravitate to those kinds of songs."
McEntire revealed her relationship status in 2020 on a the dating-themed episode of her Spotify podcast Living & Learning With Reba McEntire (which recently returned for its second season). She made her new love Instagram official on Oct. 19, 2020 by sharing a sweet photo for the first time with her "sugar tot" (he calls her "tater tot").
Meet Reba's Boyfriend Rex Linn
Linn was born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma City. He's a graduate of Oklahoma State University. Notable acting roles for Linn include appearances on the TV shows Better Call Saul, Nashville and Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon. He also appears in such Hollywood films as Wyatt Earp, Cliffhanger and Kevin Costner's The Postman.
To many fans, he's Sgt. Frank Tripp from the long-running CBS television series CSI: Miami.
McEntire told podcast co-host Melissa Peterman during the big reveal that she first went on a date with her fellow Oklahoman in January. "And then February on, it was the COVID pandemic, and we were talking, texting, FaceTime," McEntire adds. "And that's a really good way to get to know people."
Now they're "livin' the dream" (Linn's t-shirt says so) together, with Linn sharing the same photo with the best caption: "Angel on the ground (and on a cooler)."
From the sound of things, McEntire and Linn bonded over country music and popular TV shows in a way that made their pandemic experiences way less lonely.
"It's good to have a person to talk to, laugh with, get into subjects about what's going on. Discussions about our past, our family, funny stories, him being an actor, me being an actress. And he's very into my music. I'm very into his career," the Country Music Hall of Fame member continued. "It's just great getting to talk to somebody who I find very interesting, very funny, very smart and is interested in me, too."
Both have shared adorable social media posts about each other over the past two years. For instance, on Jan. 5, 2021, Linn posted pictures of the couple's first movie date, which was a private screening at an AMC theater. He's also used pictures of McEntire and a cardinal as an excuse to say he'd seen two beautiful redheads during a trip to the creek.
Things got quirkier in May when Peterman shared a photo of herself in a bird costume, chatting with Linn and McEntire while the couple held hands.
Things are so good that McEntire admitted in an Oct. 2021 interview with Extra that marriage gets discussed (and giggled about) with Linn.
"We've talked about it and giggled about it," McEntire said. "We thought, 'Man if we ever had a ceremony, we would have to have a 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and an 8:00 'cause we have so many friends, acquaintances and family.'"
The lovebirds would've crossed paths at least a couple of times well before the pandemic. McEntire so-starred on Young Sheldon not too long ago, and Linn emceed the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's 59th annual Western Heritage Awards (held in OKC in April 2019). During the ceremony, McEntire's rodeo-riding father Clark was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners and singer Michael Martin Murphey earned a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Even further back, both would've been on the set of Kenny Rogers' TV movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw. This was back when McEntire was married to her second husband, then-manager Narvel Blackstock (the former father-in-law of Kelly Clarkson).
A Red Carpet Couple
The Grammy award-winning country singer and Rex Linn are regulars on the red carpet, beginning with the 2020 CMA Awards. More recently, they were each others' date to the 2022 Oscars, which were broadcast by ABC.
Products featured on Wide Open Country are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Read More: Blake Shelton Then & Now: His Life in Photos
Enjoy all things country?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.