Grammy weekend kicks off with honour for Dolly Parton

Parton was celebrated for her musical achievements and philanthropic work

Nobody pokes more fun at Dolly Parton — all hair, sequins, nine-inch nails and five-inch stilettos — than the country superstar herself.

Parton was celebrated for her musical achievements and philanthropic work as MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday night. She’s the first country artist to be saluted in the tribute’s 29-year history.

Garth Brooks, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Katy Perry, Pink, Chris Stapleton and Don Henley were among those honouring the 73-year-old singer-songwriter two days before the Grammy Awards.

“All of my life I have been known for two things. Well, not them,” the well-endowed Parton joked in a bawdy acceptance speech. “I’ve also been known as a singer and songwriter too. Although I’m not complaining. Ol’ Pancho and Lefty’s been pretty good to me. Everybody always expects me to do a boob joke and I like to do that right up front.”

Surprising Parton with her award and earning a standing ovation were Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, who teamed with Parton for two successful “Trio” albums. It was a rare public appearance for Ronstadt, who can’t sing anymore because of Parkinson’s disease, which Parton mentioned.

“It has been a wonderful journey,” Parton said.

As Parton rushed to embrace Harris and Ronstadt, her award crashed to the floor. It appeared to survive intact.

Parton said people ask her about it being a man’s world when she got into the music business in the 1960s.

“I never met a man that I didn’t like and I never met a man whose (rear) I couldn’t kick if he didn’t treat me with the right respect,” she said, drawing raucous cheers.

Earlier, Parton watched from the audience while other performers sampled her vast catalogue.

Wearing a black jacket with Parton’s visage on the back, Pink kicked off the evening with a powerhouse rendition of the man-stealing song “Jolene.”

Gospel singer Yolanda Adams received a standing ovation for “I Will Always Love You,” the Parton-penned song famously covered by Whitney Houston.

“Yolanda, you killed that,” said Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.

Cyrus, who is Parton’s goddaughter, and Mendes dueted on “Islands in the Stream” with Mark Ronson on guitar. Grammy nominee Carlile and Nelson sang “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way).”

“We love you, Doll,” Nelson said.

Backed by a horn section, Stapleton tackled “9 to 5,” getting the audience clapping along to Parton’s ode to empowered yet challenged working women.

Musgraves and Perry teamed up on “Here You Come Again,” with Perry decked out in lilac fringe with matching boots and cowboy hat.

“We want to be just like her when we grow up,” Perry told the crowd.

Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood teamed up on “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle To You,” sealing it with a kiss.

Henley and Vince Gill strummed guitars on “Eagle When She Flies.”

Backed by a choir, Leon Bridges and Mavis Staples took the crowd to church on “Not Enough.” Bridges got into the spirit of the evening with white cowboy boots and a denim jacket with his name and a white horse on the back and red barn patch on the front.

“It’s been such a thrill for me tonight to see all these great artists singing songs I’ve written or been a part of,” Parton said. “Watching them is sort of like watching porn. You’re not personally involved but you still get off on it.”

The crowd roared and Parton said, “Hey, don’t blame me. At my age you’ll take anything you can get.”

She closed the evening by performing “Coat of Many Colours.

“I had my nails too long to pick tonight because I’m gettin’ ready for the Grammys,” Parton explained in having Linda Perry play guitar.

Friday’s dinner and auction at the Los Angeles Convention Center generated more than $6.7 million, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said.

MusiCares, run by the Recording Academy, provides financial assistance to individuals in the music industry during times of financial, medical and personal need.

“Of course you know we hillbillies need MusiCares too,” Parton said. “We may not have sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, but two out of three ain’t bad.”

Beth Harris, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIU staff go rock-hunting in Nanaimo for grade-school geology courses

University’s earth science department creating introductory teaching kits for schools

VIEX now in full swing

Vancouver Island Exhibition gets underway in Nanaimo

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Nanaimo Arts Council membership showing work in Ladysmith

Island Living Art Show opens at the Waterfront Gallery on Aug. 24

Volunteers needed for Grandparents Day event in Nanaimo

Picnic will take place Sept. 8 at Bowen Park

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

VIEX all set for 125th anniversary fair

Vancouver Island Exhibition taking place at Nanaimo’s Beban Park from Aug. 23-25

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Most Read