Susie McEntire Eaton's smile is a genuine one -- and a familiar one. With more than a passing physical resemblance to her sister, Reba McEntire, Susie also shares her big sister’s musical giftings. But Susie has directed her talents to the country gospel side of American Roots music garnering much acclaim from her peers and fans alike. In addition to numerous awards and nominations from TNN, GMA, and CCMA, Susie has been named “Artist of the Year” several times in the field of Positive Country Music. She has also scored four #1 singles on the Positive Country radio charts. However, more than her notoriety, it is Susie’s kindness and determination in the midst of difficulties and her genuine compassion for others that inspires people around her.
Susie often reflects about her early Christian experiences in her concerts, combining her wealth of songs (13 CDs to date) with inspiring life stories. “The person who influenced me the most for Christ was my Grandma Smith who babysat me while my siblings went to school. It was through her influence that I recognized what Christianity was all about – not all about going to church – it was about Him living His life through me,” she says.
Raised on an Oklahoma ranch, Susie began singing as a teenager with her siblings, Pake and Reba, as the “Singing McEntires.” In 1980, after graduating from Oklahoma State University, Susie was again singing with her sister who, by this time, had become a country superstar. In addition to performing concerts for sold-out crowds, they made television appearances on programs such as “The Johnny Carson Show,” “Hee Haw,” and “The Grand Ole Opry.” Susie says, “I learned so much in this short period of time – little did I know that this travel time with Reba would help to prepare me for my own solo career in music.”
In 1984, Susie submitted to God’s calling in her life to sing Christian music, and in the years to follow traveled the country with her husband Paul and 3 children. But the abuse that had already plagued them earlier in their marriage wouldn’t quit – no matter how much counseling they had.
After two separations and now divorce, Susie is a mom with three adult children. "After 25 years of marriage, I could not continue to be in a situation of verbal and mental abuse and remain healthy. I had to make a choice to do what was best for me and my children,” Susie shares.
With a clear head, renewed joy, and a peace she hasn’t felt in years, Susie says she feels more energetic and positive about her music than ever before. AND she has been able to embark on a dream she’s had for years: she is co-host of “Cowboy Church” on RFDtv. (Dish, Direct tv, and Comcast) “My family has been in the ranching/rodeo world for four generations, and I am so pleased to be able to bring Jesus Christ to this audience in a down to earth, country style.”
Susie’s music catalog is not just a collection of inspiring songs, it has become her life story. "Looking back now, with 20/20 vision, I can clearly see God’s hand of guidance through all of the difficult moments in my life. By sharing my story, I hope it will help someone else find their way through whatever they may be facing. I can think of no greater purpose for my music than that.”
Susie has recently signed on to be a spokesperson for the Community Learning Council, Inc. based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. CLC is a non-profit organization that focuses on education to help prevent and stop domestic violence.
She keeps pressing and says "growing in faith means growing in all areas of my life". Her release "Passages" marks a bold and honest stylistic growth reflective of her transformational life changes. She says "my country roots have grown into a full tree with a strong trunk and limbs. I can handle other styles that continue to celebrate the things country is known for. "Passages" is real stories about real people. I'm pretty sure that is what the spiritual life is about. I am so much more honest now at my core.
She and Mark Eaton from Seattle, WA were married in December of 2009 and are usually found no more than several feet apart at any given moment. Mark, otherwise known to her fans as Mr. Seattle, is a adventurer, fitness expert, theologian and presenter. The two of them make a tremendous team bringing joy, hope and authenticity to their audiences. It is another reason for her fresh and honest smile. A little secret never hurts: Susie sometimes invites Mark on stage to help with a little blues guitar.
"Chase the Wind" was released in December 2012 and Susie continues to expand and grow. "Upbeat and happy" is how she describes this project. The surprize here is that Mark joins her on 4 songs in duet style. "He did great in the studio, but now that he really owns the songs he is killing it. I did not know he could sing like this. The audiences love him. He is authentic and real. They connect right away" she says about him.
Mark says that putting him on her music is like "putting water on a fire or tar on pancakes" and proves "her judgement is not as good as she thinks it is." He smiles when he says it but there is no doubt he means it. She says "he is humble and a little shy about his singing and guitar playing and he certainly has his own style. But when he relaxes, throws his head back and lets it go, it is very, very nice. He knows i love to hear him and I think that encourages him to go for it. I love that about him. His abandon has taught me so much."
Susie is an amazing seasoned performer with an amazing story, an ability to connect with the audience and make them feel like friends. From country, to Celtic, to jazz to Christmas music and everything in between, Susie will make a lasting impression of family, faith, hope and encouragement.