Dolly Parton was the surprise of all surprises at the Newport Folk Festival
While we were busy with XPN Fest this weekend, some crazy stuff was going down at the Newport Folk Festival. And by crazy stuff I mean DOLLY PARTON WAS THERE. When Lucy Dacus arrived on XPN’s River Stage on Sunday afternoon, one of the first things she said was that she was in a daze because she met Dolly Parton the night before at the Folk Fest. We can’t blame you, Lucy!
The Newport Folk Festival turned 60 this year, and to celebrate, the closing set on Saturday night was vaguely billed as “♀♀♀♀: THE COLLABORATION.” Brandi Carlile welcomed several surprise guests, all women, onto the stage — Sheryl Crow, Linda Perry, Judy Collins and Maggie Rogers. But there was one more guest left to introduce. Parton arrived on stage and blew the crowd away. She sang five of her classics with fellow female country stars, including “9 to 5” and “Jolene”. She did “I Will Always Love You” as a beautiful duet with Carlile.
“I wanted Dolly because I feel like she has been the consummate and ultimate feminist, but beloved by all different kinds of people,” Carlile told CBS News when they asked her why she chose Parton as the ultimate surprise for her all-woman power set. “All they see when they look at Dolly is her heart.”
Parton told CBS that she didn’t charge anything for her appearance at the festival. “I’m just doing this as a fun thing for me,” she said, “and hopefully the audience, and for Brandi and the girls.”
This year’s festival undoubtedly belonged to women. Watch a video of Dolly Parton at the Newport Folk Festival below, along with a heartwarming backstage warmup clip posted by Maren Morris.
brb crying on the inside till the end of time. 😭✨ pic.twitter.com/1pP2BKAhLm
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) July 28, 2019