March 8, 2022, 10:32
“I know Whitney is smiling at us tonight, so thank you very much.”
Dolly Parton hosted the Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards ceremony last night (March 7), and one of the special guests paid tribute to the country icon with a stunning performance.
Kelly Clarkson gave an incredible rendition of “I Will Always Love You” during the show, which took place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Dolly Parton wrote ‘I Will Always Love You’ in 1973 – the same day she penned the equally beautiful ‘Jolene’.
She released the song herself in 1974 and it was a huge hit, but it took it to the next level when Whitney Houston covered it for her 1992 movie. The bodyguard.
Her version spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and is one of the best-selling singles of all time.
“I know Whitney is smiling at us tonight so thank you so much – she would be proud of that,” Dolly said of Kelly’s performance.
“I was backstage trying not to make my false eyelashes cry – throwing snot all over the place and tears. But anyway, it was amazing work!”
Kelly had previously confirmed her appearance on the show during a segment of The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“I want to let you in on something a little exciting that I’m excited about,” Kelly said.
“I’m going to perform at the Academy of Country Music…and I’m super excited because the one and only Dolly Parton is hosting. I’ve got a special tribute planned just for her.”
To the loud cries, she added that all chatshow audiences that day would receive tickets to Allegiant Stadium to see the performance in person.
Dolly and Kelly recently met to record a new version of Dolly’s “9 to 5” for the upcoming documentary Still working 9 to 5.
As Dolly opened the show, she said: “I like to laugh, I like to joke, and we’re going to have a great time tonight, but I want us to take a serious moment before we start with all of our fun.
“Now I don’t want to be political and I’m not. I’d rather have a kidney stone than do this, but I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
“So why not dedicate this whole show to them and pray for peace in this crazy old world?”
The full list of winners for the 2022 ACM Awards was as follows:
Artist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
- Female Artist of the Year: Carly Pearce
- Male Artist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
- Album of the Year: Dangerous: the double album –Morgan Wallen
- Single of the Year: “If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood
- Song of the Year: ‘Things a Man Oughta Know’ – Lainey Wilson
- New Female Artist of the Year: Lainey Wilson
- New Male Artist of the Year: Parker McCollum
- Duo of the Year: Osborne Brothers
- Band of the Year: Old Dominion
- Video of the Year: ‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)’ – Elle King and Miranda Lambert
- Songwriter of the Year: Michael Hardy
- Musical Event of the Year: “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde