Country artist Reba McEntire and her son Shelby Blackstock attend the 2018 Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala at Music City Center on October 28, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Reba McEntire Didn't Raise Son Shelby Blackstock to be a 'Spoiled Brat'


During an Oct. 2022 appearance on the Today ShowReba McEntire explained how she provided her only child, son Shelby Blackstock, with a relatively normal childhood.

"When we would play games or cards, I'd never let Shelby win," McEntire told Today's Hoda Kotb. "He wouldn't have learned anything that way. I always told Shelby, 'I'll always love you, but I want other people to like you. So don't be a little jerk. Don't be a spoiled brat.'"

Despite her hectic touring, recording and acting schedules, McEntire always set aside quality mother-son time.

"I had the best nannies, and I took him on the road with me," the Country Music Hall of Famer said. "When I couldn't, I would fly home after a concert, get him up in the morning, take him to school and pick him up. We'd play until I had to fly out again for a concert that night. I wanted to be with Shelby. Still do."


Per McEntire, Blackstock practices the life lessons she taught him in his dealings with others. "A lot of people have told me you would never know [he] had been blessed with the life he was given," she said.

A 32-year-old Nashville native, Blackstock has a full-time racing career that began in 2011. In 2012, he competed in the U.S. F2000 National Championship with Andretti Autosport. He also finished eighth in points with a best finish of fourth at Road America. He moved to the Pro Mazda Championship in 2013. In 2015, he raced for Andretti Autosport in the Indy Lights series. He transitioned to touring car racing in 2019 and finished fourth in points in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. In 2020, he and co-driver Trent Hindman won the GT World Challenge America in an Acura NSX.

The race car driver's father is Narvel Blackstock, whom McEntire divorced in 2015. Shelby's older half-brother is Brandon Blackstock, the ex-husband of Kelly Clarkson. He also has two older half-sisters, Shawna and Chassidy.

The Branch-Blackstock Wedding

Blackstock married his longtime love Marissa Branch in February 2020, saying "I do" at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.'s Magic Kingdom, where Blackstock proposed.


Blackstock shared videos from the fairytale wedding through his Instagram stories. Following the ceremony, the couple rode in a Cinderella-esque horse-drawn carriage fit for a fairytale. The couple's first dance was to Kacey Musgraves' "Butterflies."

In one clip Blackstock shared from the wedding, he can be seen sharing a mother-son dance with McEntire to the country singer's song "You're Gonna Be (Always Loved By Me)."

The couple went all in on the Disney theme for its nuptials, with Branch walking the aisle to Beauty and the Beast's "Tale As Old As Time."


Last year, Blackstock shared a photo of the moment he popped the question at Walt Disney World along with a sweet message for his bride-to-be.


"Closing out the best year of my life the right way- I'm engaged to my best friend! @rissabranch I love you," Blackstock wrote on Instagram. "Now let's celebrate the way we know best!"

Branch also shared a photo of the special day, writing "People do crazy things...when they're in love," a quote from Hercules.

In October of 2021, McEntire and her boyfriend Rex Linn hosted a wedding shower for the bride- and groom-to-be.

"It's taken Shelby and I two weeks to get around to this post. Between traveling and planning, it's been refreshing to take a step back and enjoy this premarital bliss bubble that we currently live in," Branch wrote on Instagram. "...It was a very wonderful and surreal moment to mesh Shelby's family and friends with mine. My heart is so full! {97 days left!}."


READ MORE: Carrie Underwood Knocks Singers Unable to Hit Their Notes Live, Praises Axl Rose

This story was updated on Feb. 14, 2022 with news of Blackstock and Branch's wedding and on Oct. 20, 2022 following McEntire's appearance on the 'Today Show.'

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