Dolly Parton: CMA Lifetime Achievement Award Inspires Her to ‘Keep Contributing’
On Wednesday night (Nov. 2), Dolly Parton took home the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 CMA Awards. After sharing some thoughts about the honor in her acceptance speech -- which was cut short due to time constraints -- the country icon spoke with reporters backstage about the significance of the honor.
"I hope they don't think because they gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award, I'll be done," Parton quipped. "It does [inspire me] because it makes me feel like I'm still a part of things, because it makes me feel proud ... to actually keep contributing to this life in general and to this business."
Before Parton accepted the honor, Pentatonix, Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood performed several of Parton's songs, including "I Will Always Love You," in tribute. Backstage, Parton admitted that watching their performances was a real treat.
"My whole life just took a little twirl, back when i was working with Porter Wagoner, when I first wrote that song," Parton said of "I Will Always Love You." "It is an honor, and it makes me feel good to feel like I've done something to further this business ... The fact that all these young women and all these young stars say that I've inspired them makes me feel real good."
While the singer says that she's grateful for her success, she maintains that it's her love of singing that motivates her the most.
"I just love what I do," she said. "I'd be singing in a bar if i hadn't made it, I'm sure."
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2012 and recognizes “an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music [and] who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level." Past recipients include Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013) and Johnny Cash (2015).
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