(l to r) Janelle Arthur, CeCe Winans, Carrie Underwood, Barbara Mandrell, Linda Davis, Suzy Bogguss, Jeannie Seely. Photo by Eric Ahlgrim

Barbara Mandrell Celebrates 50 Years As Opry Member

Grand Ole Opry celebrated Country Music Hall of Fame member Barbara Mandrell on her 50th Anniversary as a member of the Opry family last night with two shows. Opry member Carrie Underwood, CeCe Winans, Suzy Bogguss, Linda Davis, Jeannie Seely, Janelle Arthur, Mandy Barnett, and Connie Smith honored the music legend who was in attendance along with her family and friends.

The three-time ACM/CMA Entertainer and four-time ACM/CMA Female Vocalist of the Year was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on July 29, 1972.

“Everyone talks about Barbara’s beauty. But, as gorgeous as she is, she is just as beautiful inside. In addition to all of those other things we love about her, she has always worn her faith on her sleeve. She let us know you can love the Lord AND raise a little…heck,” shared Underwood before welcoming Mandrell to the stage. “She has been such an inspiration to me and so many others that stand on the shoulders of great female artists like her. It’s especially fitting to pay tribute to her tonight, in this sacred place we both hold so dear.”

“There are so many great, great huge talented woman that performed for us tonight and said so many incredible things about me…they know I love them. And the Opry…Lord knows I love the Opry,” shared Mandrell.

Regarding the historic Opry stage she continued, “My last show when I retired in 1997 I chose my home to do my finale performance on and it was this one.”

Mandrell, a 9x People’s Choice Award winner, released “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” in April 1981 as the lead single from her album Barbara Mandrell Live. The song hit the No. 1 spot on July 4, 1981 and helped propel her Live album to be certified Goldâ by the RIAA and helped her win the 1981 CMA Entertainer of the Year.

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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