Country music legend Dolly Parton sparked rousing applause Monday night when she opened the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas with a heartfelt tribute to Ukraine.
Parton, who cracked jokes at the start of the show, suddenly took a serious turn. The iconic performer said she wanted to pause for a moment to reflect on the chaos in Ukraine.
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“I do want us, before we get started with all our fun, to take a serious moment,” she said.
Parton, who famously avoids getting political, made it clear she wasn’t looking to wade into any partisan divides. Instead, she said she simply wanted to send her hope and love to those suffering amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Now, I don’t want to be political, and this is not. I’d rather pass a kidney stone than do that,” she quipped. “But I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.”
Parton said the entire show should be dedicated to the Ukrainian people — and encouraged prayers for peace.
“So, why don’t we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy ‘ol world?” she said.
Watch Parton’s touching comments:
Later in the show, band Old Dominion thanked Parton for her Ukraine tribute. After winning vocal group of the year, member Brad Tursi expressed his gratitude to the country legend, according to Billboard.
“So many people here have fought for their dreams. But there are people fighting for their lives right now,” he said, adding it was a bit strange to be celebrating at an award show during such a difficult time. “Thank for you saying that.”
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