Legendary country singer Dolly Parton has made history as the first ever country artist honored at the MusiCares “Person of the Year” event, Rolling Stone is reporting. MusiCares holds the dinner every year during Grammy week to not only honor icons in the music industry, but to raise money to help musicians and their families with urgent health needs. Past honorees include Bob Dylan, Carole King, and Tom Petty among others. In total, all of the events put together have raised over $140 million. This year’s dinner featuring Parton raised $6.7 million.
The singer was chosen as 2o19’s Person of the Year due to her accomplishments and charitable efforts. She is also being praised for her determination and strong-willed attitude that has inspired others for decades. A part in Parton’s acceptance speech demonstrated this attitude.
“I have actually worked with so many wonderful men, and I’ve never met a man that I didn’t like,” she said to the crowd. “But I’ve never met a man whose a** I couldn’t kick if he didn’t treat me with the right respect.”
There to celebrate Parton were Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. The event featured performances from Mavis Staples, Brandi Carlile, P!nk, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, and Norah Jones among many others. One of the most notable performers had to be Miley Cyrus, who goes way back with Parton — Parton’s her godmother! Cyrus celebrated her godmother by doing a duet with Shawn Mendes for one of Parton’s hits, “Islands in the Stream.” Perry and Musgraves also did a duet, singing “Here You Come Again.” Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood had a more romantic duet, singing “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You.” P!nk performed the classic “Jolene.”
Other performances include Don Henley and Vince Gill reading “Eagle When She Flies.” Chris Stapleton was able to jam out to the iconic “9 to 5.” Yolando Adams performed the typical show-stealer “I Will Always Love You.” Mavis Staples enlisted a gospel choir to help perform “Not Enough” with Leon Bridges. The highlight of the night, of course, was when Parton herself performed. The singer opted to only perform one song, a somber version of “Coat of Many Colors.”
The event was hosted by country group Little Big Town, and they shared stories from Parton’s life with the audience. The big screens in the room played significant clips of Parton throughout her career, some clips dating all the way back to the 1960’s.
“This is the best night,” Cyrus said. “We just get to hear Dolly songs all night long.”