The Ultimate 50

24. Louise Mandrell

HOMETOWN: Corpus Christi, TX

BORN: 7/13/52

PROFESSION: Singer/musician

HER BEST STYLE: Though it's been straighter lately, we prefer the look in our background photo, which we found in sister Barbara's autobiography, "Get to the Heart." When they shared a weekly TV variety hour, the shoulder-length hair was quite thick and strong - with hidden bangs that could come into play when necessary.

HISTORY: Older sister Barbara was the Big Star. Younger sister Irlene was the "dumb brunette." All three Mandrells had spectacularly stunning and strong styles in their prime, but Louise had the one that's quietly endured - and remains unbeaten 20 years later. It holds tightly even during the most fast-paced fiddle tunes -- and when forced to move, the long hair seems to merely bounce. No wonder White Rain selected her to do advertising for its products, instead of the others.

WHY SHE'S RANKED HERE: This style has the thickness and deep-down strength that Crystal Gayle does not. It's the "Ultimate Hairstyle" of all musicians. And she begins a group of several women that might be called the "third level" - two steps below the top-ranking cuts.

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