"This was so touching," Dolly Parton said from the CMA Awards stage on Wednesday. "I would have cried, but I didn't want to mess up my eyelashes."
That was Parton's perfect review of the all-star tribute to the country legend, as she was honored with the CMA's Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.The medley featured six acts performing four Parton classics. Pentatonix teamed with Jennifer Nettles for an acapella "Jolene," Reba McEntire belted out "9 to 5," Kacey Musgraves took "Here You Come Again," and Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood joined the group for a closing "I Will Always Love You."
"For me to be receiving the Willie Nelson award. This is a absolute high for me," Parton joked from the podium."I mean, for Willie to have a high achievement award, I mean, how appropriate is that? Because he's had some highs that border on historic, I can tell you that."
The speech came a few minutes after the show was originally scheduled to end.
"I really am very proud to receive this," Parton said. "Of course, they asked me to hurry it up. They say they're behind, but you're talking about a lifetime here, right? ...I just wanna thank all my fans and everybody for allowing me to see my little girl dreams come true."