Country legend Barbara Mandrell gives rare interview - WSMV Channel 4

Country legend Barbara Mandrell gives rare interview

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It has been more than 15 years since Barbara Mandrell stepped away from the country music spotlight, and the singer says that she doesn't miss performing.

"My husband and I prayed about (the decision), and when the answer came, it came very quickly," Mandrell said.

Mandrell will always be remembered for her TV shows and hit songs in the 1970s and '80s, but she said she has sold all of her instruments and is enjoying a simpler life.

"I keep my house.  I cook, and I work in my garden," Mandrell said.

During her singing career, she was often criticized for having too much production in her shows and too much bass in her music.

Listening to country today, she's happy things have changed.

"I love the bass, and now they're throwing it down," Mandrell said.  "It's great."

Until 2002, her home was the Fontanel Mansion in the Whites Creek area of northern Davidson County.  The site is now a tourist attraction with a restaurant and amphitheater.

At first, Mandrell was a little apprehensive about going back to see all the changes but was pleasantly surprised.

"The feeling was like love.  It was really warm," she said.  "So immediately upon entering the situation of being there, it was like, 'Yeah, this is the way it should be.'"

Mandrell made a rare public appearance Saturday to serve as emcee for the Mars Petcare Dog Adoption in Franklin.

In her mind, nothing gives unconditional love like a pet.

"We have two dogs and three cats. They love me. They don't care if I'm ugly or pretty," Mandrell said.  "They don't care if I'm rich or poor.  They don't care if I'm sick or well.  They don't care if I'm sweet or mean. They love me."

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