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Barbara Mandrell has been retired for over two decades, but she remains an essential member of the Grand Ole Opry, 50 years later.
The Grammy award winner celebrated her 50th anniversary of becoming a member of the coveted community, by making a rare appearance at the venue.
The country music singer was graced by a rendition of her notable song, “I Was Country Before Country Was Cool,” by eight-time Grammy Award winner, Carrie Underwood.
Underwood praised Mandrell, 73, saying, “She has been such an inspiration to me and so many others that stand on the shoulders of great female artists like her.”
Underwood shared a message after the event, saying how special it was to celebrate Mandrell and that she was honored to be included.
Mandrell shared a message of her own, thanking her fans, Underwood, and several other female performers. She wrote, “Lord knows I love the Opry!”
Mandrell has stayed predominately out of the spotlight since retiring in 1997, reserving any singing for church services.
She became a big star with “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters,” a variety show that featured Mandrell, as well as her real-life sisters, Irlene and Louise.
While Mandrell was born in Texas and raised in California, her strong stamp on Tennessee remains a large part of her legacy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report