Dolly Parton dedicates Country Music Awards to ‘brothers and sisters’ in Ukraine
Dolly Parton dedicated this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony to the people of Ukraine, calling on viewers to send “love and hope” to those affected by the conflict.
The country music legend, 76, opened the star-studded ceremony in Las Vegas by asking crowds to “take a serious moment” before the show to reflect on the Russian invasion a fortnight ago.
She said: “Now I don’t want to do politics and I don’t”. I’d rather pass a kidney stone than do that. I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
“So why don’t we dedicate this whole show to them and pray for peace in this crazy old world.”
The 57th edition of country music’s biggest night returned to Nevada this year, after being moved to different locations, including Nashville, Tennessee, due to the pandemic.
A packed Allegiant Stadium saw performances from the Osborne brothers, Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson and Parton herself.
The country music star is the latest personality to urge people to support the people of Ukraine.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling yesterday pledged to personally match donations of up to £1million to support children in Ukraine, after his Lumos foundation launched an emergency appeal.
Last week, Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher said they would match donations of up to £2.25million to help provide “immediate” humanitarian aid to refugees.
Parton, who has donated £760,000 to help fund early trials and research of the Moderna vaccine in 2020, wore a sparkly jumpsuit for the event, joking that a disco ball had fallen on her.
‘I wanted to shine tonight, did I succeed?’ she asked the audience to cheers and applause.
Parton also received her own tribute from Clarkson, who took the stage to perform I Will Always Love You, which she dedicated to the singer.
The song, originally written by Parton, is often associated with Whitney Houston, whose 1992 rendition for the film The Bodyguard is one of the best-selling singles of all time.