Dolly Parton Teases What to Expect at ACM Awards and What Kelly Clarkson’s Tribute Performance Means to Her

Dolly Parton Teases What to Expect at ACM Awards and What Kelly Clarkson’s Tribute Performance Means to Her

Dolly Parton is gearing up for a big night. ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with the 76-year-old country star on Wednesday, and she expressed excitement about hosting the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards live from Las Vegas on March 8, with co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.

“I am real excited. It is always fun to do the shows. It has been a long time since I have done the ACMs, so I am looking forward to hosting that with my wonderful co-hosts,” Parton told ET. “We are looking forward to being in Vegas… It’s a big night and a big, exiting deal for me and for the fans.”

In addition to her hosting duties, Parton will be honored during the show with a tribute performance from Kelly Clarkson.

“It makes me feel great that she is going to be doing it, because Kelly is one of the greatest singers in the world,” Parton said. “… With her, you know it’s going to be real good. I do love her to death. I love her personality. I just love the way she is. I have known her for a long time… so that is going to be special to me, of course.”

When she’s not leading the ceremony, being honored, or making one of her five outfit changes, Parton is planning to steal the show with a performance of “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans,” which she’s “really looking forward to singing” with Kelsea Ballerini .

“We had a chance to rehearse several days before the show and we will actually be rehearing the day of. She is so precious, so sweet, and so beautiful,” Parton said of the 28-year-old singer. “We just had a fun day of hanging out with the band and rehearsing our song. It was just fun. She is such a great gal.”

The track comes off of Parton’s latest album, Run, Rose, Run. Due out March 4, the album is a companion to Parton’s upcoming novel of the same name, which she co-wrote with James Patterson.

“He called me and asked if I would be interested in writing a book with him. I thought, ‘Well, what do you need me for? You seem to be doing all right,'” Parton quipped. “… So he came down to Nashville and we talked. We felt really close to one another. We felt like it would be a good thing to do.”

“We started writing it and then all of the sudden I thought, ‘Well, duh, I’m a songwriter, so why don’t I just write a soundtrack to go with the book?” she added. “… It turned out to be a really good thing to have those two together.”

The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards will stream on Prime Video on Monday, March 7 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/5 pm PT. Tune in to Thursday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET’s interview with Parton.

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