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

Watercolours by late Chilliwack artist to be unveiled at Yarrow Library

The public is invited to a special unveiling of three of Heinz Klassen’s watercolour paintings

Yarrow Library one of the stops on Cubetto’s grand tour

FVRL’s friendly wooden robot, Cubetto, travels throughout Fraser Valley to teach programming basics

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

Chilliwack students take the lead as mental health advocates

About 100 Chilliwack youth prepped to make a difference during Mental Health Week

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read