Country stars celebrated Dolly Parton at Wednesday’s CMA Awards when she took home the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin presented the award to her “9 to 5” co-star Dolly Parton “for being an iconic artist in country music,” she said. “Dolly is country music, pure and simple.”
Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix kicked off a tribute to Parton, beginning with an a cappella version of her hit “Jolene.” Reba McEntire then took over, singing “9 to 5” with a full band, followed by Kacey Musgraves, who sang “Here You Come Again.”
Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride then came out to join the others for a group rendition of “I Will Always Will You,” which brought tears to Parton’s eyes.
Or maybe not. “I would’ve cried, but I didn’t want to mess up my eyelashes,” Parton joked when she reached the stage. “This is an absolute high for me,” she added, referencing the award’s Willie Nelson namesake.
“They asked me to hurry it up, they said that they’re behind,” she said. “But we’re talking about a lifetime here.”
Parton also won the Tex Ritter Award for her NBC TV movie last year, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” at the ACM Awards earlier this year.