Reba McEntire Actually Met Her Boyfriend Rex Linn Three Decades Ago

It turns out Reba McEntire and Rex Linn have quite the meet-cute love story. It just took a while. The two made their feelings for one another very clear back in November 2020 when they made their red carpet debut as a couple at the CMA Awards. But a month before that, McEntire officially opened up about her new love on her podcast, "Living and Learning with Reba McEntire."

"We're having a blast and still getting to know each other," McEntire gushed of the "CSI: Miami" star while chatting with her co-host, Melissa Peterman. "Whatever happens in the future, we're very stable and it's been a good six months and I look forward to having more things to look forward to," she added, noting that they got in contact during the coronavirus pandemic. "We're having a blast and still getting to know each other. Whatever happens in the future, we're very stable and it's been a good six months and I look forward to having more things to look forward to."

Well, fast-forward to 2023 and these two are still going strong ... but it turns out they knew each other years before they actually struck up a romance.

Reba McEntire reconnected with Rex Linn after her mom fell ill

Reba McEntire revealed how she really met Rex Linn during an appearance on the "Jennifer Hudson Show" on March 29, where she gushed over how handsome she found her man while confirming they'd actually first met more than 30 years earlier in 1991. "We were both in the movie with Kenny Rogers, 'The Gambler,'" she shared, revealing that they were brought back together by a twist of fate known better as the sitcom "Young Sheldon." McEntire explained, "So his best friend from sixth grade is Ed Gaylord and I've known Ed for a long time so we're all friends. And then in January 2020, before COVID, I was doing 'Young Sheldon' TV show, Rex was doing 'Young Sheldon'... so Rex texted me and said, 'You going to be in town?'" And the rest, as they say, is history!

One of the big reasons why Linn reached out to McEntire? Her mom's health issues. Speaking with "Today" in October 2021, the country superstar shared that the actor called her when he heard her mom wasn't doing so well, and that really started the ball rolling. McEntire's mom, Jacqueline Smith, died in March 2020. "We'd gotten to see each other before because we're both on 'Young Sheldon.' So starting in March of 2020, we just kept talking and visiting and finally got together, see each other in June. And we've been pretty much inseparable ever since."

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn stayed in each other's orbits due to mutual friends

Reba McEntire previously revealed on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" in November 2020 that she and her Rex Linn had managed to keep in contact because they have a few mutual friends in common. "So it was just like good friends getting back together and having dinner," she shared of their first date. "Then we started texting and talking on the telephone and getting to know each other better during the quarantine."

In October 2021, Linn actually appeared on "Living and Learning with Reba McEntire" with his girlfriend, and they discussed how their romance blossomed despite the pandemic keeping people apart. "It was a very special relationship, us getting to know each other without any physical aspect to it at all," said McEntire, who told the world she was very much in love with the actor, sharing how they bonded while she was in Tennessee and he was in California. Linn noted that he was so desperate to spend virtual time with the country music star that he'd even get up at 3 a.m. just to have coffee with her. The two also revealed their nicknames for one another, with McEntire being known as Tater Tot and him Sugar Tot. Adorable!