Barbara Mandrell was well known inside the country music industry in the 1960's and already had a large fan base, but it was the mid 1970's when I (along with millions around the world) first 'met' this multi-talented artist.

And from the mid '70's through the 1980's, it was a rare week when Barbara Mandrell didn't have a country song at or near the top of the national country music chart. And then, in the early 1980's, we got a real treat!

This country music legend came into our living rooms weekly as Barbara Mandrell And The Mandrell Sisters was a network television variety series hit. With sister's Louise and Irlene (along with the biggest guest stars of the day), Barbara did it all: sing, play virtually every instrument there was, great comedy skits and more.

Now, Barbara Mandrell means a whole lot more to music than statistic's, but here's just a few:

1) First artist to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year Twice.

2) CMA Female Vocalist of the Year twice.

3) 25 studio albums, 1 live album, 68 singles (including 25 Top Ten's).

And thrilled millions of fans around the world with her incredible live performances.

In 2009, Barbara received the highest honor a country music artist can get, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. And while it would be impossible to pinpoint one song that defines this legendary career, her 1981 smash may say it best.

'I Was Country (When Country Wasn't Cool)'.

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