Amanda Carol "Mandy" Barnett (born September 28, 1975 in Crossville, Tennessee) is a country music singer and stage actress. In her musical career, she has released three albums and charted three singles on the Billboard country charts. Born Amanda Carol Barnett, the only child of Betty and Dan Barnett (who worked respectively as a bookkeeper and contractor), she was named after Amanda Blake, the husky-voiced actress who played Miss Kitty on the long-running television western "Gunsmoke." Barnett began her musical career by singing in church at the age of five. Members of the congregation noticed her perfect pitch, and that her vocal performance had star quality. Her mother encouraged her by booking singing engagements wherever people would listen: bowling alleys, VFW halls and political rallies (notably for Lamar Alexander and future Vice President Al Gore, Jr... When there was no venue, she would perform in parking lots. By age nine, her father financed a professionally recorded gospel music album. The following summer, she had joined a summer theatre cast at Dollywood and shared the stage with Dolly Parton herself. It was during her two years at Dollywood that she won a talent contest that included making a demo in Nashville, just a two-hour drive from her home. During the trip to Nashville, Betty Barnett worked to get her talented daughter a spot on the well-known "Midnight Jamboree" radio show, which aired after the Grand Ole Opry program on WSM-AM. Opry star George Hamilton IV was also a guest on the program, and was so impressed he commented, "If there are any producers out there, you better call." One did indeed, and she was soon signed by producer Jimmy Bowen. The then 12-year-old Barnett earned a lot of industry buzz after her debut on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, covering Patsy Cline's "Crazy." It would prove to be a foreshadowing moment of her professional career. Bowen's career transitioned from label to label at the time. Each time, he took young Barnett with him, and despite constant training and development funding, no album ever resulted. Barnett graduated from high school in 1993 and headed back to Nashville full-time to seek her fortune. Ironically, her label, Capitol Records dropped her that December. A stroke of luck finally came her way early in 1994, when she heard about auditions for a stage show that very day, much to her surprise. Called Always... Patsy Cline, she felt she was a natural to play the legendary country chanteuse, and she beat out all the others who tried out for the part. It played nightly at the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry where Cline herself had sung, and Barnett performed to sold-out crowds for two years. Thanks to reviews that constantly compared her favorably to Cline, Barnett was a hot property on Music Row again, finally putting out self-titled album on Asylum Records in 1996. Three singles from the album charted on the Billboard country charts. Working with the country glitterati, including Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood, Barnett's star was rising. A nationwide tour in 1997 was met with good reviews. She reprised her role in Always... Patsy Cline (this time with above-the-title billing) for a short time and she contributed performances to two film soundtracks before releasing her next album in 1999 on Sire Records, I've Got A Right to Cry, produced by the man who had made Patsy Cline herself a star, studio legend Owen Bradley. He died mid-way through the project and his brother Harold Bradley took over production duties. It would be released soon after Bradley's death. Reviews of I've Got A Right To Cry were strong, including raves in Rolling Stone, but sales disappointed, and Barnett was dropped from Sire. Press interviews constantly compare her to Patsy Cline, which may have resulted in a musical form of typecasting and negatively impacted her career. Barnett maintains that Cline is an influence, but that she is not a Patsy Cline impersonator. Having learned from Music Row veterans, she began working herself as a record producer in 2000, working with gospel and country artists. Barnett keeps her intimate life very private, and currently resides in Nashville. She continues to sing in concerts around the city and works as a producer.