Dressed in all her glory, an outfit she likened to a glitter ball, Dolly Parton not only dazzled the crowd with her appearance hosting the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) but also with her words.
The 76-year-old country music legend dedicated the entire show to Ukraine.
The actress, businesswoman, and music star, who has written over 3,000 songs, opened the show joking about her outfit.
“I was walking through the hall back here coming on the stage and a disco ball just fell right on me, got shards of glass all over me. I’m just hoping nothing punctures me else I’ll be sailing around this room like an inflatable doll.”
She then promised the crowd a night of fun but said she’d first like to stop and take a moment to talk about something serious.
“I love to laugh, I love to joke, and we’re going to have a good time tonight, but I do want us before we get started with all our fun to take a serious moment,” Parton said during her monologue.
“Now I don’t want to be political and this is not. I’d rather pass a kidney stone than do that, but I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.”
“So why don’t we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy old world?” She concluded her monologue before introducing a collaborative performance featuring Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.
Thousands of people are thought to have been killed, both civilians and soldiers, since President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine two weeks ago. The U.N. estimates that more than 2 million people have fled the country, the biggest exodus of refugees in Europe since the end of World War II.
Parton is not the only one to dedicate the awards show to Ukraine. Matthew Ramsey from Nashville-based country music band Old Dominion touched on the conflict in his speech accepting the award for Group of the Year.
“I’m so thankful that Dolly said what she said at the beginning because I was feeling a little bit strange because we’re in this beautiful bubble here where every person whose name is mentioned tonight has fought for their dreams.”
“But there are people fighting for their lives right now, and it felt a little weird. So I’m so thankful she said that. So thank you. We’re so grateful for this award. Couldn’t be more thankful.”
You can always count on Dolly to remind us what’s really important in the world. Her devotion to greater causes is an inspiration to us all.