Barbara Mandrell
Source: Getty Images

Barbara Mandrell's Children and Family Are the Reason She's Retired

Melissa Willets - Author
By

Jan. 24 2023, Published 11:48 a.m. ET

Singers Barbara Mandrell and Dolly Parton have more in common than just wowing audiences with their country music for the past several decades. The superstars are also married to their husbands for decades. The “I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool” twanger said “I do” to drummer Ken Dudney in 1967, and they are still together.

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The couple subsequently welcomed three children. They also count at least two grandchildren among their happy family, who are the reason that ultimately, in 1997, Barbara retired from country music.

With the Mandrell name back in the news as Christina Mandrell competes on Season 27 of The Bachelor, let's get to know Barbara and her family.

Who are Barbara Mandrell’s children?

Barbara Mandrell
Source: Getty Images

Barbara Mandrell in the 1970s

Barbara and Ken have been wed in holy matrimony for well over half a century, per Country Rebel, which reports that the couple actually fell in love at first sight at a time when Ken was engaged to another woman. Their connection prevailed however, and they said “I do” to a life together. In 2020, Barbara’s sister Louise paid homage to the enduring relationship between the singer and her husband.

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By 1970, the Dudneys were parents to a baby boy named Kenneth Matthew, after his dad, per Country Thang Daily. Sadly, their oldest child, who goes by Matt, struggled with addiction and mental health challenges, saying per CBN, “The more and more I fell into depression, the more I would self-medicate, using alcohol and sometimes drugs. From that, there was no balance.”

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After nearly burning down his aunt’s home, Matt got help and credits his faith with helping to turn his life around. Today, the singer is married to a fellow songwriter named Christy Sutherland. After a long infertility journey, the couple welcomed a son in 2018, per Singing News.

In 1970, the Dudneys welcomed a daughter, Jaime. She would become a Miss Tennessee Teen USA and then a soap opera actress, per the Orlando Sentinel. She is best known for her role as Georgia on As the World Turns. But before Jaime realized success in her own right, she and her brother were involved in a terrifying car accident with their famous mom, who soon thereafter became pregnant with her third child.

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Barbara and her kids were hurt in a fatal car crash.

The year was 1984, and Barbara and her two children were seriously injured in a car accident in Nashville that killed the driver of the other vehicle, per The New York Times. The country crooner suffered a head injury and many broken bones and bruises, as well as memory loss, while Matt and Jaime were also hurt.

A year after the wreck, Barbara gave birth to a son named Nathaniel after enduring a complicated pregnancy. About her third child the star said, “He is a miracle. He is so healthy, so perfect, and God has really, really blessed us.”

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Barbara has two grandchildren, but no, one of them isn’t on ‘The Bachelor.’

Jaime has been married to Whit Gilbert since 2011 and they have one child. Meanwhile, not much is known about Nathaniel, but he is reportedly married. About her youngest getting hitched, Barbara told The Boot in 2009 by way of advice for the couple, “My husband and I just told them to pray together, to make it a three-way marriage: the two of them and God.” Nathaniel does not have children that we know of.

Meanwhile, although fans may think that Christina Mandrell is one of the singer’s children or grandchildren, actually, the Bachelor star is Barbara's niece. Her mom is Irlene Mandrell, who is Barbara’s sister, and also a singer and actress.

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