NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was a packed house at the Grand Ole Opry for Dolly Parton’s 50th celebration with performances from country artists like Lady Antebellum, Hank Williams Jr. and of course, Dolly herself.
The first time Dolly Parton sang on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, she was just 13 years old. She remembers that night as a little girl with big dreams, now, celebrating 50 years of living that dream of being a member.
She spoke at a press conference before her shows Saturday night, telling media that she originally didn’t want to have a celebration like this because she didn’t want people to know she was way older than 50.
However, it was an important night for Dolly was, sharing some of her stories on stage, following other big country artists on stage to pay tribute to the country queen.
Her performance included the classics like Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, and one of the very first songs she wrote, Joshua.
These songs and others earned her a Guinness World Record for the female country artist with the most billboard top 20 hits — 26 of the number one.
“My daddy loved the Grand Ole Opry, so we’d listen to it back home and me dreaming of being on it and I just remember that being special,” Dolly said, “But then the night that I actually became a member, after I was working with the Porter Wagner show, and got to actually be a member 50 years ago, that was one of the highlights of my whole life. It was a true dream of mine, and I just wish mom and daddy could be here tonight, but I think they are.”
Dolly always said the Grand Ole Opry is like the song ‘New York, New York’ by Frank Sinatra — she says if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
Her goal now is to work on more uplifting songs, a few coming to Christian radio very soon.