Mandrell, Barbara (1948–)

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Mandrell, Barbara (1948–)

American country singer and musician. Born Barbara Ann Mandrell, Dec 25, 1948, in Houston, Texas; dau. of Irby Mandrell and Mary Ellen Mandrell; sister of Louise Mandrell and Irlene Mandrell; m. Ken Dudney (drummer), 1967; children: Kenneth, Jaime and Nathaniel.

Became highly adept at playing steel guitar at young age; toured with Red Foley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Tex Ritter; formed group with family at age 14, with mother on bass, father on vocals and guitar, and future husband Ken Dudney on drums; signed with Columbia (1969), enlisting sisters as back-up singers to form group Do-Rites, and had 1st chart hit with cover of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long"; scored 1st of many top-40 hits with "Playing Around with Love" (1970) and partnered successfully with singer David Houston; joined Grand Ole Opry (1972); had series of hits, including "Midnight Oil" (1970s); with ABC/Dot Records had 4 #1 hits, including "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" (1981), and received several industry awards; starred on NBC-TV in Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters (1980–82); released gospel album He Set My Life to Music (1982); was in head-on car crash (1984); returned to music after recovering, but focused on live performances rather than recording; received over 75 major awards, including Country Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year (1979, 1981) and Entertainer Of the Year (1980, 1981), and 1 Grammy; starred in NBC Movie of the Week "The Wrong Girl" (1999).

See also autobiography Get to the Heart: My Story (Bantam, 1990).

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