Dolly Parton celebrated 50 years on the Grand Ole Opry this weekend, playing two sold-out shows on its iconic Nashville stage.
Her first time playing the Opry was actually 60 years ago at the Ryman Auditorium, when she was only 13.
Dolly traces her love for the country music institution back to her family.
“My daddy loved the Grand Ole Opry, so we had to listen to it back home, and me dreaming of being on it,” she said before the show. “The night that I actually became a member… was one of the highlights of my whole life, because it was a true dream of mine.”
“And I just wish Mama and Daddy could be here tonight,” she added, “but I think they are.”
Dolly delivered a set heavy on classics, starting with “Joshua,” and continuing with “Jolene,” “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You.”
She also paid tribute to her mentor Porter Wagoner, inviting his longtime band member Buck Trent to join her on Porter’s hit, “The Carroll County Accident.”
“I just have so many memories,” Dolly reminisced. “Watching the people backstage, and standing out there on that stage where all the great people stood, just thinking maybe someday I could be part of them.”
For one of country’s biggest stars, it was a night filled with gratitude.
“You wonder how people will remember you when you’re older,” Dolly explained. “And I’m older, and I’m seeing how people are remembering me. And that makes me feel very humble.”
“Maybe I’ll be around another 50 years, who knows?” she smiled. “If I’m lucky.”
The special, “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry,” is set to air Nov. 26.
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