Dolly Parton performed two sold-out shows at the Ryman Auditorium on Friday and Saturday (July 31 and Aug. 1, respectively) -- her first concerts in Nashville in 13 years -- but the 69-year-old admits that the event was overshadowed by the loss of country music icon Lynn Anderson, who passed away on Thursday (July 30) from a heart attack.

"Lynn and I were buddies backstage," Parton told The Boot and other reporters at a media event prior to her Friday show. "We didn’t hang out. We weren’t, like, girlfriends, but you always have the friends that you have backstage that you enjoy more than others. We were, I guess, basically the same age. So she was having her hits, and I was having mine, and I just loved her to death.

"... She was a good gal. I’m gonna miss her," Parton added. "I made a quote this morning that said she’s blooming in God’s rose garden now."

Anderson appeared in at least one episode of Parton's short-lived TV variety show, Dolly!, which ran for one season, from 1976 to 1977. Press play on the video above to see footage.

After news of Anderson's death broke on Friday, numerous country artists mourned her passing.

"I am a huge fan of Lynn’s. She was always so nice to me. She did so much for the females in country music. Always continuing to pave the road for those to follow,” Reba McEntire says. “I loved her music and her love for horses. “Rose Garden” was a song I sang in high school in our Kiowa Cowboys High School band. She will be missed.”

Anderson's funeral will take place later this week.

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