the heart won't lie
Reba McEntire arrives at the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

'The Heart Won't Lie': Reba McEntire Originally Had a Different Country Legend in Mind for the Vince Gill Duet

It's hard to imagine "The Heart Won't Lie," a No. 1 hit from Reba McEntire's 1992 album It's Your Call, without Vince Gill as her superstar duet partner and music video co-star.

Yet as McEntire told it during a June episode of I Miss...90s Country Radio with Nick Hoffman on Apple Music Country, she originally wanted to work with a different Country Music Hall of Famer with a voice ready-made for ballads.

"'Heart Won't Lie' was a song we were trying to get a duet on with Kenny Rogers, and the keys just would not work," McEntire said. "Then I took the song, and did the duet with Vince. I didn't tell Kenny, which was my mistake, totally. Kenny approached me at the CMA Awards. He said, 'Why did you do that?' I said, Kenny, 'I am so sorry. We were just going so fast. It's a great, wonderful song. I never even considered coming back, and talking to you about that, and that's one of the things I totally regret.' I hugged his neck, and I told him I was terribly sorry. But I did not do that maliciously."

Former Rogers duet partner Kim Carnes penned "The Heart Won't Lie" with Donna Weiss, co-writer of Carnes' signature pop hit "Bette Davis Eyes."

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The McEntire and Gill team-up reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in April of 1993. It was the first duet not by Brooks & Dunn to top the charts since Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton's 1991 single "Rockin' Years."

It's among the most memorable duets in both McEntire (her Linda Davis team-up "Does He Love You" arrived in '93 via McEntire's Greatest Hits Volume Two) and Gill's (his Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs collaboration "Go Rest High on That Mountain" followed in '95) catalogs.