Barbara Mandrell Turned 74: After Retiring She Has Kept Her Faith & Enjoys Life with Husband of 55 Years.
Barbara Mandrell has been happily married to her husband for 55 years. She gave up her singing career to focus on her family. Now he has a new life at the age of 74. Country music star Barbara Mandrell had a beautiful life.
She celebrated her 74th birthday in 2022 after leaving her music career to focus on her personal life. However, her music is still played by her fans.
During her career, the singer won more than 70 awards and had a career spanning three decades. She is even commemorated in a museum in Nashville. She retired from music in 1997.
Mandrell, who turned 74 on December 25, 2022, retired from music in 1997 to focus more on her family and religion. Speaking about why she did it, she said:
“[God, country and family] are the most important things. We are only here to love God and each other. I’m not saying I’ve never been angry with anyone. I work. But you have to forgive and move on.”
When asked if she would ever return to music after retirement, she confirmed that there is no chance of that happening. She said her fans thought she might tour again, but she sold all her gear when she retired and never looked back.
She discovered that she was now singing alone alongside everyone else in the church. When asked what helped her to become the most beautiful person in the world twice, she joked that it was all about her mother’s good genetics and the performance of 37 years.
Mandrell and her husband of 55 years are still in love
Mandrell’s father was the reason she and her husband of 55 years got together after he hired Ken Dudney to be the drummer in a family band called The Mandrell Family Band. Mandrell admitted that she fell hard for Dudney.
She described him as a polite and kind young man when she met him. At 14, she thought he was brilliant and they ended up dating all through high school. When asked if Dudney had proposed to her, Mandrell confirmed that he had, but she didn’t say yes at first.
An interviewer once asked her if Mandrell made Dudney ask for her hand in marriage, but she revealed that he had not. She shared:
“We were very much in love and really wanted to get married.” I had to finish high school first.”
Another thing that prevented them from getting married right away was that Dudney was engaged to someone else at the time. He broke off the engagement when he first laid eyes on Mandrell because he knew he wanted to be with her.
The couple eventually married in 1967 and finally realized their dream. However, they faced difficulties like any other married couple. Some of the things that contributed to their hard times were Dudney being in the Navy and Mandrell focusing on her singing career.
When asked how they kept their love alive for so long, the country singer admits that there were times when she and her husband disagreed, but said that having God at the center of their union helped them overcome many difficulties. and kept them feeling blessed.
Mandrell said she and her husband are passionate people, and they yelled at each other, but they worked it out pretty quickly. They welcomed three children from their union; Jamie, Nathaniel and Kenneth. Their son Nathaniel is what Mandrell considers a miracle. She once recounted how doctors told her she might have miscarried the baby, but she had no way of finding out until the next day.
She admitted that she had been up all night thinking her baby was dead. She and Dudney prayed all night. When she was finally able to go for an ultrasound the next day, they found Nathaniel alive and sucking his thumb.
Barbara Mandrell is back after 25 years
Although her sister once told fans that her sister would never return to the stage because she kept her word about everything, Mandrell returned in August 2022 when she returned to the stage again.
She appeared at the Grand Ole Opry to celebrate her 50th year as a member. She said her place felt like home because she was so comfortable there. She also said how proud she is of country music.
Mandrell was welcomed on stage by Carrie Underwood, who described Mandrell as an inspiration. Then she said:
“I chose my house for my last performance and that was it.
The legendary country singer made the announcement minutes before walking off the stage after her last performance of her life. She then walked off stage and embraced as the crowd cheered.