Reba McEntire was born to be a cowgirl. Her father, Clark McEntire, was a champion rodeo roper and was well-respected by the entire rodeo community. As a result, McEntire grew up surrounded by the rodeo world, and ended up competing on occasion.
But the rodeo helped foster a deeper passion in McEntire’s heart…a passion for music. As her family road home from her father’s shows, McEntire, her mother, and her siblings would all sing together in the car. McEntire, her sister Susie, and her brother Pake eventually went on to form a singing group called The Singing McEntires.
McEntire furthered her career as a teenager by singing with the Kiowa High School band on radio shows and for even more rodeos. As you could guess, McEntire still holds close ties to the rodeo community today.
That’s why McEntire was hit particularly hard by some news she received concerning one of the rodeo world’s most recognizable figures. On Thursday (March 2), it was confirmed that beloved rodeo announcer Hadley Barrett had passed away. He was 87.
Barrett became a rodeo announcer by pure chance. He was originally a competitor, but his life changed forever when he filled in for an announcer friend who was sick. He started announcing at amateur rodeos and worked his way up to bigger events. Over the years, he became known as the “voice” of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
The entire rodeo community held Barrett in the highest regard, as proven by the number of awards and honors he received throughout his career. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1999, and was named the PRCA Announcer of the Year a total of four times.
Barrett was also known for his role in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. This year marked the 28th time that Barrett served as the announcer of the event.
A press release obtained by My San Antonio states that Barrett passed away in Colorado. A cause of death will be revealed at a later date, and no funeral details have been announced at this time.
McEntire took to Facebook to mourn Barrett’s death, writing that he was a “good friend” of hers. “Happy trails to you, my good friend…We will miss you very much,” McEntire wrote, referencing the theme song for The Roy Rogers Show.
Happy trails to you, my good friend Hadley Barrett. Shown here with Randy Corley. Hadley had just announced his 28th run this year at the San Antonio rodeo. We will miss you very much. #happytrailstoyou
We are so sorry to hear of Barrett’s passing. We’ll be keeping his friends and loved ones in our prayers during this difficult time.