Barbara MandrellShe was country when country wasn't cool, but Barbara Mandrell is happy that country music has quite a strong cool factor these days. And the music icon believes that's largely due to the singers who do a lot more than sing.

"I've always been one for show-business," Barbara told The Boot Wednesday on the CMA Awards red carpet. "I like performing, and I used to get criticized for having production value. But now it's all that! People need to get what they pay for! Otherwise, just listen to recorded music."

So who does Barbara think is a great, all-around entertainer? She sites two country heartthrobs.

"I'm going to the premiere of Tim McGraw's movie ['The Blind Side'], and I'm so excited. He really is an extraordinary actor, and I'm so proud of him," Barbara gushed to us. "And Kenny Chesney -- all that he puts into his show is just enormous."

But backstage at the CMAs, there was another entertainer on Barbara's mind, the CMA Entertainer of the Year.

"It'll be exciting to watch where she takes it, because she entertains you," Barbara said of the night's biggest winner, Taylor Swift.

Taylor is the youngest person to ever win the CMA's Entertainer of the Year honors and is only the seventh female artist to ever win in that category. Barbara is among those elite seven, and is the only female who's a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year.