Kelly Clarkson took the stage at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards to pay a heartwarming tribute to Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton was this year’s host for the ACMs in Las Vegas, which streamed live Monday night on Prime Video.
The original American Idol winner performed a touching rendition of one of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits to honor the country music legend -who Clarkson referred to as “the one and only.”
Clarkson sang ‘I Will Always Love You’
The singer took the stage with her beautiful rendition of the song that has become one of the most recognized tunes of all time. Clarkson’s soft, emotional version had the audience embracing and swaying along during the entire performance.
The Since You Been Gone star stunned the stage in a long, black velvet dress against a sparkly, red background. She was accompanied by a singular pianist and guitarist who elevated her performance to an even higher level.
Watch Kelly Clarkson’s tribute to Dolly Parton below:
The song, and its meaning were performed to honor and recognize the success of Dolly Parton. The singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, and queen of Dollyworld and “dollyisms” ran the ACMs last night as the award show’s leading lady.
Parton was first announced as the show’s host at the beginning of February, where the official ACM Awards Instagram account wrote, “It takes a global superstar to host Country Music’s Party of the Year, so we got the queen!”
Clarkson felt honored to be singing the tribute for ‘the queen’
Kelly Clarkson announced to her followers last week that she would be performing the tribute to the country music queen at the ACMs this year. Her post started with, “One word: DOLLY.”
After the initial news, she posted behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos at Allegiant Stadium as she geared up for her big Monday night moment.
On her talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, she even took the time to let her viewers in on her upcoming performance.
“Before we go to break, I wanna let you in on a little something exciting that I’m super stoked about. I’m gonna be performing at the Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7th live from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and I’m super stoked because the one and only Dolly Parton is hosting, and I have a special tribute planned just for her,” she said.
After the announcement to her television audience, Clarkson also surprised her in-person audience with free tickets to the live award show.
After her performance and the ACMs were over, Clarkson took to Instagram to show her appreciation for Dolly Parton. She posted a photo side by side with the country legend and wrote, “What is life?! I love you @DollyParton!”
Other performers at this year’s ACM Awards included Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne, Chris Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Jason Aldean, and Lady A.
After a successful night of country music, well-earned awards, and Clarkson’s touching Dolly tribute, it’s safe to say this year’s 57th Academy of Country Music Awards was a huge success.
See you next year at the 58th!