Charlie Battles: The Life, Career and Death of Reba McEntire’s First Husband

Charlie Battles: The Life, Career and Death of Reba McEntire's First Husband
Charlie Battles: The Life, Career and Death of Reba McEntire's First Husband

Charlie Battles is best remembered as Reba McEntire’s first husband, but he was much more than that. A true Southerner at heart and an example of what it meant to be American in America, Charlie Battles lived a life that was both inspiring and tragic.

In this article, we’ll look at his journey from childhood in Oklahoma through his success as a steer wrestler.

Charlie Battles Profile Summary

Full NameCharlie Battles
BirthdateMay 31, 1948
Died at the Age73
Height1.72 meters
ProfessionCattle Rancher
Married/SingleUnder Review
Childrentwo sons
Marriage to Reba      Married Reba McEntire in 1976
DivorceReba McEntire 1987

Early Life and Military Service

Earl and Ocey Battles welcomed Charlie Battles in Oklahoma in 1945. Raised as an ordinary teenager, Charlie answered Uncle Sam’s call to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Army in 1962.

Unlike many of his fellow service members, however, Charlie Battles wasn’t sent off to Vietnam but instead spent 10 months training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

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Charlie Battles spent most of his army service overseas as an armored intelligence expert stationed in Germany. In 1965, he was honorably discharged and returned to Oklahoma.

Charlie Battles’ Rodeo Career and Family Life

After his military service ended, Charlie Battles pursued professional steer wrestling and became an expert. He competed in rodeos across America for three years straight; 1968, 1970, and 1971 – culminating with qualifying for the 1974 PRCA National Finals. His talent was evident as he won numerous championships along the way.

Charlie Battles wed Sherrie in 1966, and they had two boys together, Lance and Coty, before the Battles family expanded. However, the rodeo business wasn’t providing Charlie with enough income, so he took up cow ranching while still performing in the rodeo.

Marriage to Reba McEntire

In 1976, Charlie Battles married 21-year-old Reba McEntire, launching her country music career while marrying and adjusting as a stepmother. Her song “I Don’t Want to Be a One-Night Stand” peaked at No. 88 on the Billboard country singles charts.

Reba McEntire and Charlie Battles’ boys had little in common, yet Charlie did not try to foster relationships with his two boys or second wife. It eventually got so bad that Reba felt estranged from her family since they had no children.

If Reba McEntire asked to do anything with either parent or children, Charlie Battles completely disregarded her request.

Charlie Battles: The Life, Career and Death of Reba McEntire's First Husband
Reba McEntire
Photo: Daniel
Source: Ghgossip

Reba McEntire found solace in singing, and her husband, Charlie Battles, was an invaluable support. After deciding to move to Tennessee to further develop her singing career, Reba experienced Charlie Battle’s protectiveness and support turn into possessiveness and jealousy as their celebrity increased.

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Since Battles owned all their assets, all of Reba’s earnings would go directly to him; he even stole money from her pocketbook because he felt so deserving of such success.

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Divorce and Life After Reba

Reba sought a divorce in 1987 with the help of her parents and sister. Charlie had no desire for this divorce whatsoever, so when he discovered Reba had requested one, he withdrew all money from their joint account to convince her not to go.

After divorcing Reba, Charlie Battles quickly rose to his feet and pursued his favorite hobby: rodeoing. By 1993, he purchased his ranch near Stringtown and started doing rodeo there and entering into corporate America for a while.

Charlie Battles passed away in 1993 at age 50.

Charlie Battles was born on May 31, 1948, and passed away on November 12, 2021, making him 73 years old at the time of his passing.

Charlie Battles Net Worth

Charlie Battles is best known as Reba McEntire’s former husband in the United States. Reports claim he has a net worth of $1-&5 million, which he sources from his work as a Cattle Rancher.

  • Previous Year’s Net Worth (2020) – $1 to $4 million
  • Annual Salary Under Review
  • Income Source Celebrity
  • Net Worth Verification Status Not Verified
Charlie Battles: The Life, Career and Death of Reba McEntire's First Husband
Charlie Battles and his first wife
Photo: Daniel
Source: Countrythangdaily


Charlie Battles was more than just a footnote in Reba McEntire’s life. He was an authentic Southerner and successful steer wrestler whose life was filled with triumph and tragedy. His military service, rodeo career, and family life played an important role in molding who he became.

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Though his marriage to Reba McEntire ended in divorce, Battles found solace through rodeoing and eventually purchased his ranch. Charlie Battles remains an inspiration today as a reminder of what it means to be a hardworking American.


Who Was Charlie Battles?

Charlie Battles was an acclaimed steer wrestler and cattle rancher born in Oklahoma in 1945, best known for being Reba McEntire’s first husband.

When did Charlie Battles marry Reba McEntire?

Charlie Battles wed Reba McEntire in 1976.

What was Charlie Battles’ net worth?

Charlie Battles’ net worth is estimated to be between $1 and $5 million, largely derived from his work as a cattle rancher.

What happened to Charlie Battles after his divorce from Reba McEntire in 1987?

Following their split, Charlie Battles returned to rodeoing and eventually purchased his ranch near Stringtown. Additionally, he ventured into corporate America.

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