When country music legend Barbara Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009, stars came out in droves to celebrate her career, including fellow legends Reba McEntire and George Jones.
Barbara Mandrell has long been beloved in the country music world, with over 75 major awards under her belt and 38 years in the music business prior to the great honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mandrell is known as the “Sweetheart of the Steel,” and was proficient in several musical instruments by the age of 10 – including the steel guitar for which she earned that nickname!
Barbara grew up playing the instrument and while many know her for singing, she still shows off her guitar talents!
Mandrell is also known for her variety show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, which ran on NBC and brought in nearly 40 million viewers every single week.
During Mandrell’s induction, friend and fellow country singer Reba McEntire discussed her love and appreciation for Mandrell. McEntire said, “I thank you for the things that you’ve taught me, not only musically, but spiritually, and I will always treasure our relationship with all my heart.”
McEntire then went on to perform “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Mandrell’s 1981 hit – the same song they had performed together at the Opry more than a decade before (in the above video). McEntire was then joined on stage by the one-and-only George Jones!
Together, their rendition of the song was beloved by the audience, who gave McEntire and Jones a standing ovation after their performance. The two crooners ended their performance with a warm embrace while smiling at the audience and an appreciative Mandrell.
There could only have been two people to create such a special performance to honor their longtime friend – and they did a marvelous job!
Check out the full performance below!