At the Grammy’s MusiCares 2019 Person Of The Year, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Dolly Parton was honored by Superstar performers, Multi-GRAMMY®-winning artists and current GRAMMY nominees: Pink, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Katy Perry, Don Henley, Linda Perry, Shawn Mendes, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris, Vince Gill, Norah Jones, Yolanda Adams, Brandi Carlile, Lauren Daigle, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Cam, Jennifer Nettles, Margo Price, Chris Stapleton, Mavis Staples, Leon Bridges, Jon Batiste, Michael McDonald, and MusiCares Show Hosts: Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town ! Now say that in one breath! You can’t beat that lineup of superstars ! Miley Cyrus & Dolly Parton:
This award celebrates music legend Dolly Parton’s dedication to philanthropy and her great long career. Parton, 73, is the first country artist to receive the honor, a year after Fleetwood Mac became the first group honored. Combos were prevalent throughout the night, which is understandable given how difficult it is to recreate the singular voluminousness of Parton’s angelic voice . . . . . .
During the show Miley Cyrus sang “Islands in the Stream,” with Shawn Mendes and producer Mark Ronson, but no one could be expected to match the sizzling chemistry Parton and Kenny Rogers displayed on the 1983 smash. “I’m doing ‘Islands in the Stream’ tonight, so I have this banana leaf as a little, kind of island, tropical moment,” Cyrus said before the show. She added, “I’m just looking forward to listening to all her songs tonight and not having to listen to anything else. I listened to a station the other day called Dolly Radio and they started playing other artists. And I thought, ‘No! I only want to listen to Dolly when I’m listening to Dolly Radio.’ Tonight, it’s all Dolly songs.”
Cyrus’ father, Billy Ray Cyrus, is longtime friends with Parton and named the “Jolene” singer his daughter’s godmother. Parton and Cyrus have worked together several times over the years, including the song “Rainbowland” on 2017’s Younger Now.
“We love you, Doll,” said Willie Nelson affectionately, undoubtedly speaking for everyone in the ballroom at the Los Angeles Convention Center as Dolly Parton was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year.
Nelson and Brandi Carlile‘s recreation of “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)” — a No. 7 hit for Parton and Nelson in 1983 — was one of the many highlights of the night. The event, hosted by Little Big Town, raised $6.7 million for the Recording Academy’s MusiCares program to assist musicians in need.
Former tour mates Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves delivered a sassy “Here You Come Again,” and two-thirds of the current Eagles incarnation, Don Henley and Vince Gill, teamed for a harmony-filled “Eagle When She Flies.” Not surprisingly, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood displayed the evening’s strongest chemistry on a slow, simmering take on “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” with Brooks backing his wife on acoustic guitar and occasionally chiming in on vocals.
Though nothing could replicate the exquisite intertwining of Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris’s voices on their Trio projects, Cam, Jennifer Nettles and Margo Price came damn close on their wistful, gorgeous rendition of “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.” In a surprise appearance, Harris and Ronstadt presented a visibly touched Parton with her award. Though no longer able to sing because of Parkinson’s Disease, Ronstadt looked and sounded good during her part of the presentation, even laughing after Parton’s award dropped on Ronstadt’s foot.
No Parton salute would be complete without devoting at least a few numbers to her gospel roots. Lauren Daigle took to a rotating stage in the center of the room to deliver a version of “The Seeker” that captured the song’s sacred and profane duality, while Mavis Staples, Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste, accompanied by a full choir, got the audience swaying with “Not Enough.”
Parton’s biggest hit, “I Will Always Love You,” is not technically a gospel song, but the evening’s producers very wisely turned to gospel titan Yolanda Adams to deliver a roof-raising version of the song so powerful that Adams’ vocals could probably be heard out in the street. She earned a rousing standing ovation for her performance.
In addition to Adams and Daigle, a number of acts performed solo: P!nk (see photo below) opened the show by setting the bar high with Parton classic “Jolene” while capturing the song’s defiant tone, and Chris Stapleton turned the jaunty “9 To 5” into a rollicking working man’s theme.
Miley Cyrus also played a major role in the Parton tribute during the main Grammys broadcast. She joined Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and Little Big Town to perform Parton songs. Parton herself then took the Grammy stage for the first time since 2001 to sing a song from Netflix’s Dumplin’.
Parton has won eight Grammys out of 47 nominations during her career and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most recent win came in 2017 for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for her a cappella version of “Jolene” with Pentatonix.
“I truly am honored to be the MusiCares Person Of The Year and the first country artist to be honored,” Parton said. “I can truly feel the love in this house tonight … it’s a long long way from hills of East Tennessee to the Hollywood Hills, but it has been a wonderful journey.”
Fresh off Kacey Musgraves’ performance of “Rainbow” at the 2019 Grammy Awards, and becoming a four-time winner, the 30-year-old has released the song as her next single. “Rainbow” is the fifth song released from her 2018 Golden Hour album, which took home two Grammys, for Best Album and Best Country Album. A stunned Musgraves took the stage after Golden Hour won the all-genre Album of the Year category, which she shared with Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Drake, H.E.R., Post Malone and Janelle Monáe.
Musgraves’ performance of “Rainbow” earned her a standing ovation ealier tonight at the 2019 Grammy Awards ceremony, and the country star received support from one particular fellow nominee in the audience. Cameras caught Lady Gaga emotionally applauding Musgraves during her performance, with one of Musgraves’ fans catching the moment and sharing it on Twitter. Fans were totally here for the interaction between Gaga and Musgraves, with Twitter reflecting on a potentially burgeoning friendship. Lady Gaga was aggressively clapping and blowing kisses at Kacey .
The Texan also dropped the compelling video for “Rainbow,” which she teased on the red carpet prior to the live Grammy Awards broadcast. In addition to Album of the Year and Country Album of the Year, Musgraves also won a Grammy for Country Solo Performance, for “Butterflies,” and Country Song, for “Space Cowboy.”
In her 8-minute speech, which was a combination of stand-up comedy and heartfelt reflection, Parton — who has landed 26 No. 1s on Billboard’s Country Songs chart — took a good-natured jab at MusiCares for honoring a country artist as Person of the Year for the first time in 2019. “Of course, you know we hillbillies need MusiCares too. We may not have the sex, drugs and rock and roll, but two out of three ain’t bad,” she said.
Looking back over her 50-year career, she reminisced, “People say to me, ‘Well, wasn’t it a man’s world when you got into the business?’ And I say, it sure was and, buddy, I had a ball. I have actually worked with so many wonderful men. I’ve never met a man that I didn’t like and I’ve never met a man whose ass I couldn’t kick if he didn’t treat me with the right respect,” she said, drawing hoots and hollers from the audience. She thanked the evening’s artists for singing her songs before adding that “watching them is sort of like watching porn. You’re not personally involved, but you still get off on it. I really got off on this show tonight.”
As the clock approached 11:30 p.m., Parton noted the hour: “I know it’s late and I know you want to pee — I know I do! — so I’m going to do one more song if you don’t mind.” She then closed the night with a beautiful version of the autobiographical “Coat of Many Colors.” Our TV Show Host – Margie Rey talked about “Coat of Many Colors” in our exclusive interview with Dolly Parton- and you can see it in this video segment from the Grammy’s MusiCares! & This was the closing song of the show- that Dolly choose to perform and close out the night with.
Since 1989, MusiCares has aided close to 150,000 clients and distributed close to $60 million, according to Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow. The Person of the Year gala began with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences, and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception, along with a silent auction sponsored by Delta Airlines—the official airline of Person of the Year, was be followed by a gala dinner sponsored by AEG; a live auction; a tribute concert featuring renowned musicians and other artists; and the award presentation.
Past MusiCares Person of the Year honorees include: Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Young.
MusiCares 2019 Person of the Year set list:
“Everything is Beautiful (In Its Own Way),” Willie Nelson & Brandi Carlile
“The Seeker,” Lauren Daigle
“Islands in the Stream,” Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes & Mark Ronson
“9 To 5,” Chris Stapleton
“Here You Come Again,” Katy Perry & Kacey Musgraves
“The Grass is Blue,” Norah Jones w/ Puss N Boots
“Eagle When She Flies,” Don Henley & Vince Gill
“Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood
“Not Enough,” Mavis Staples, Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste
“I Will Always Love You,” Yolanda Adams
“Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” Cam, Jennifer Nettles and Margo Price
“Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton & Linda Perry
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