Country icon Reba McEntire and her boyfriend, actor Rex Linn, have been a couple since early 2020. The beloved superstars have found love again, and fans couldn't be happier for both as they continue to share snippets of their sweet relationship.
With in-person dates off the table in March 2020 due to the pandemic, the future partners 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. 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. So he and McEntire have the great state of Oklahoma in common since that's also where she grew up. Before becoming an actor, he graduated from Oklahoma State University. Acting is another thing that the couple has in common, as McEntire has notably starred in her own sitcoms as well as made various appearances on TV shows and films over the years. 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'll always be 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 and look of things, McEntire and Linn bonded over country music and popular TV shows in a way that made their pandemic experiences way less lonely. A lot of relationships didn't survive the pandemic, so the fact that these two were able to not only start a new love but thrive shows that they really found something special.
"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. 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 co-starred on Young Sheldon not too long before, 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 Linn are regulars on the red carpet, beginning with the 2020 CMA Awards. More recently, they were each others' date for the 2022 Oscars, which ABC broadcasted. He was also on hand for McEntire's Sept. 2023 return to America's Got Talent (AGT).
This story was previously published on Aug. 1, 2022.
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