Dolly Parton’s MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute: See Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves + More Honor the Country Legend [PICTURES]
Dolly Parton received the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year honor on Friday night (Feb. 8) during a gala in Los Angeles. The award recognizes the country legend's charitable efforts throughout her lengthy, lauded career.
Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Little Big Town and many more big country names performed Parton's greatest songs and biggest hits during the Friday night event. Artists from other genres, including Katy Perry, Yolanda Adams and Parton's goddaughter Miley Cyrus, were also part of the the tribute performances.
But perhaps the sweetest moment of the night came when Parton reunited with her Trio bandmates, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt who presented Parton with her Person of the Year trophy. Ronstadt has remained largely out of the public eye since being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease years ago.
“It’s such a sweet thing for me and Linda to be here tonight celebrating our very dear and great friend,” Harris said (quote via Yahoo!). “Such an extraordinary woman who has touched so many lives with her remarkable talent, but not just with her talent — her grace, her humor. She’s one of the funniest people I know; she cracks me up.”
The audience at the MusicCares Person of the Year benefit got to witness Parton's humor firsthand during her acceptance speech. “Everyone always expects me to do a boob joke, and I like to do that right up front,” the legendary artist began, noting that she's well known for "two things ... singing and songwriting.”
However, Parton also struck a serious tone during her remarks as she reflected on her philanthropic efforts. She's often noted that she's especially proud of her Imagination Library program, which provides books to young children around the world and which Parton started in honor of her father, who was illiterate.
“He was one of the smartest people I’d ever known in spite of that, but it was kind of crippling to him," Parton reflected. "He got such a kick out of kids calling me the ‘book lady.'"
Parton is the first country artist to be named MusiCares' Person of the Year. Of that distinction, she joked, "We hillbillies need MusiCares too! We may not have sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, but two out of three ain’t bad!”
Flip through the photo gallery below to see photos from the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year gala.