Few entertainers have left as lasting a mark on their industry as country music legend barbara mandrell. Mandrell’s story is one of perseverance in the face of adversity and serves as a testament to her strength and resilience.
By the early ’80s, Mandrell was at the top of her game as a wildly successful country crossover star, winning awards and accolades left and right. She had a loving husband, two bright kids and a Nashville mansion that seemed to be the celebrity version of the suburban dream.
Then, on a regular day in 1984, tragedy struck. A stranger’s car crossed two lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into her Jaguar, killing the driver and seriously injuring both of her children (via The New York Times). Mandrell survived, but suffered severe injuries including a broken leg and concussion.
Mandrell’s recovery was lengthy and grueling, but she returned to her career and continued to make an impact on the country music scene. She even penned a best-selling autobiography that helped her heal and move on from the crash.
Today, she still tours and performs at the Grand Ole Opry regularly. She also remains very close with her sisters, Irlene and Louise, and their families. She’s also a committed advocate for seat belt safety, as she and her family were all wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.