Meet Charlie Battles, Reba McEntire’s First Husband

Charlie was born on March 9, 1945, to Earl and Ocey Battles. Battles had two siblings, a brother Jim Battles and a sister Roxey Battles. He was a Steer Wrestler and famous country singer Reba McEntire’s ex-husband. 

In 1962, at the age of 17, Battles joined the US Army, where he received training for ten months. He spent the rest of his time there as an Armor Intelligence Specialist in Germany. 

Once his three-year enlistment ended in 1965, he was discharged from the army. After his return, he participated in many rodeo events and eventually became a champion of steer wrestling. 

In 1966, he married the first time; however, his first marriage’s details have not been disclosed, and his first wife’s identity remains unknown. He has two sons with this woman named Lance and Coty Battles. He divorced his first wife and continued participating in rodeo events. 

In 1971, Charlie met his second wife, Reba McEntire, a struggling country singer. After one of his rodeo events, she had approached him but found out that he was married with kids. Three years later, in 1974, they met again at a bar, and that was when they started taking an interest in each other more seriously. 

According to Reba, after they had met, he decided to leave his wife and be with her. 

Charlie Battles and Reba

Charlie married Reba in 1976 despite the ten-year difference between the couple. Their marriage went on 11 years, during which they had no children. Charlie’s two sons from his previous marriage were in their life; however, Reba was no close to either of them.

During their marriage, Charlie focused on his wrestling while Reba was determined to become a famous singer. She hired him to help her out with her band; however, this affected their relationship significantly. 

In her book, Reba; My Story, McEntire mentioned that Battles was not a supportive husband and looked down on her career. In his opinion, his career was more important, and he did not show too much excitement about Reba’s profession. 

She also mentioned that he made her feel excluded whenever she tried to bond with her stepsons, and on one particular occasion, when she tried to tag along with the boys, he told her there was no space for her.

During the last years of her marriage, Reba mentioned that Charlie would take money from her purse without permission, and when confronted about it, he would say mean things to her. All of these things contributed to her deciding to divorce him. 

In 1987, Reba filed for divorce, after which the couple went their separate ways.

Wrestling Career

Charlie purchased a ranch in Stringtown, where he rodeoed until 1993. In 1995, he bought a company which he named Charlie Battles PRCA Rodeo Livestock Company. He was living in Texas when he purchased the said company, and in 1998, he married his third wife, Donna Granger. 

How Did Charlie Die

Charlie suffered from a stroke in 2006 that led to him becoming completely disabled. He could no longer do the simplest task but needed help with them. Battles remained in this condition for seven years until April of 2013, when Charlie passed away due to heart failure. When he passed away, he was in Sulphur, Louisiana. 

His family organized a memorial in his memory where friends and family left thought messages and prayers for the family. He was married to Granger when he died and had only two sons from his first marriage. From his sons, he had a total of four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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