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Hosting the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas alongside Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett on Monday night, Dolly Parton opened the 2022 ACM Awards with a nod to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I don’t want to be political and this is not. 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,” Parton said. “Let’s dedicate this whole show to them and pray for peace around this crazy world.”
While the iconic country singer-songwriter opened the show with a few jokes – she called her co-hosts the “real deal” and quipped, “You know how I hate anything fake” – her segue into a deadly serious topic was deft and graceful. Few people can switch from a breast implant gag to a prayer for peace during wartime and pull it off, but Dolly Parton long ago demonstrated that she is certainly a human being unlike any other.
2022 has been a busy year for Parton so far. She joined goddaughter Miley Cyrus in a Super Bowl commercial parodying charity singles for T-Mobile and was recently nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I was absolutely floored when I heard that. I’ve never thought of myself as being rock and roll in any sense of the word — but I guess they judge it on the music and the influence certain songs have had,” Parton told Billboard last month. “I’m not expecting that I’ll get in. But if I do, I’ll immediately, next year, have to put out a great rock and roll album — which I’ve wanted to do for years, like a Linda Ronstadt or Heart kind of thing.”
The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards is produced by MRC Live & Alternative, which is owned by MRC. MRC is a co-owner of Billboard through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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