Dolly Parton Is MusiCares’ First Country Musician Named Person Of The Year

The Recording Academy is honoring a ‘true pillar of strength.’

Dolly Parton, January 29, 2017
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The Recording Academy is honoring a ‘true pillar of strength.’

Country music legend Dolly Parton will be honored next year as the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year, according to the charity’s founder, the Recording Academy.

MusiCares was created in 1989 to assist people in the music industry in times of need. The organization offers confidential, emergency help for financial, medical, and personal issues. MusiCares is funded by donations, and volunteers provide services to the music community.

The week before the Grammy Awards, MusiCares celebrates its Person of the Year at a special benefit gala. The honoree is chosen not only because of their contributions to the world on a musical level, but also because of their humanitarian and philanthropic achievements.

In 2018, Fleetwood Mac was honored by MusiCares. Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, and Gloria Estefan have previously been named Person of the Year by the organization.

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy and MusiCares, announced on Tuesday, September 5, that Parton will be the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year. The “Jolene” singer is the first country music artist to receive the honor.

“Dolly Parton has always been and continues to be a courageous trailblazer and indomitable inspiration for creators and artists — so for us to have the opportunity to honor her at our annual MusiCares Person of the Year gala is to pay tribute to a true pillar of strength and someone who we all look up to and cherish,” said Portnow, who cited her contributions to causes such as natural disasters, education, and literacy as just some of the ways she gives back.

“I am so excited and humbled to be honored as MusiCares Person of the Year,” said the bubbly and blonde 72-year-old. “It’s even more special knowing the gala benefits music people in need. I can’t wait to hear all of the great artists singing my music.”

Parton was previously honored by the Recording Academy in 2011 with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, February 8, 2019. The night includes a reception, silent auction, dinner, and a tribute concert featuring renowned artists performing Parton’s biggest hits.

Been pickin' and grinnin' my whole life and I don't have plans to quit now! ????

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Parton is a multiplatinum musician that has had 26 No. 1 songs on Billboard‘s country charts, and has won numerous awards, including eight Grammys. The Tennessee native is also an accomplished actress, starring in movies such as 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and the recent made-for-TV successes Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

The performer, who has her own amusement park, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee’s Dollywood, is currently writing new music with producer Linda Perry for the soundtrack to the upcoming Jennifer Aniston movie Dumplin’. Billboard reported that Parton is the album’s executive producer, which will include the new tunes along with newly recorded versions of Parton favorites.

Parton also has a deal with Netflix for an anthology series that will feature eight episodes, each one based on one of her popular songs, according to Deadline. She will executive produce, star on, and serve as a singer and songwriter for the series.