Dolly Parton's Best Hosting Moments From 2022 ACM Awards

Dolly Parton was working past 9 to 5 during the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7, serving as the emcee of the star-studded affair. Scroll on to relive her hosting moments from the show.

By Gabrielle Chung Mar 08, 2022 8:00 AMTags

Here comes Dolly Parton once again!

More than two decades since she last hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards, the 76-year-old singer returned to the stage on Monday, March 7, to act as the emcee for its 2022 ceremony. Held at the at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the star-studded affair, which was streamed live on Amazon Prime Video, saw Dolly delivering jokes alongside co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett in between musical acts as well as performing in an electric duet with Kelsea Ballerini.

The legendary singer didn't disappoint in the fashion department either. She kicked things off on the red carpet in a sequined dress complete with black tassels, before swapping into a mirrored jumpsuit for the opening monologues. Naturally, she included denim in her get-up for her performance of "Big Dreams and Faded Jeans" and got glammed up in glittering gold number when she was honored by Kelly Clarkson during the show.

ACM Awards 2022: Red Carpet Fashion

Disco Dolly

When taking the stage for the first time, the music icon made sure to point out her unique outfit, joking that she decided to rock a jumpsuit covered in sparkling reflective shards because she "wanted to shine tonight." 

"I was walking through the hallway, coming out on stage and a disco ball just fell right on me," she quipped. "I'm just hoping that nothing punctures me or else I'm going to be sail around this room like an inflatable doll—so catch me if you can!"

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Keeping It Real

During the opening monologues, Dolly also kept things light and joked that she hates "anything fake." Calling her co-hosts the "the real deal," the Jolene artist continued, "I love to joke and we're gonna have a good time tonight."

Love to Ukraine

Although there were plenty of laughs throughout the night, Dolly also made sure to take a "serious moment" to recognize the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. "Now, I don't want to be political and this is not—I'd rather pass a kidney stone than do that—but I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine," she told the crowd, "so why don't we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy, old world?"

Funny Bunny

Dolly's co-hosts couldn't help but to reference the singer's iconic Playboy cover when speaking about her illustrious decades-long career. "It does seem like you never really run out of steam," Gabby said, while Jimmie quipped, "Yeah, you're kind of like a Energizer Bunny, but you look more like a Playboy Bunny."

Needless to say, Dolly had the perfect response: "Aww! Well, all I can say you're both kind of honey bunnies!"

Old School

When Gabby mentioned that she had just celebrated her 22nd birthday, Dolly took the opportunity to poke fun of her own age. "I was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee. I was born on January 19th," she said, before stopping short of mentioning her birth year. "Well, let me just say Davy Crockett took me to my high school prom if that will tell you anything!"

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

At the Height of Her Game

The Grammy winner also made a joke about her five-foot stature while standing next to Jimmie, cracking, "I was kinda thinking maybe you and Three Six Mafia might join me on my next song, 'It's Hard Out There for a Shrimp.'"

Country Roots

Dolly ditched her sparkly jumpsuit for a more casual look when performing "Big Dreams and Faded Jeans," opting for a yellow top and light denim bottoms that matched her duet partner's dress. The song was released on Dolly's 48th studio album, Run, Rose, Run.

Paying Tribute

After a Kelly delivered a special rendition of "I Will Always Love You" to honor Dolly, the Grammy winner took time to pay tribute to another music icon: Whitney Houston. "I know that Whitney is smiling down on us tonight," she said of the late singer, who famously covered the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. "She'd be proud of that."

All the Feels

Clearly moved by Kelly's cover of the song, Dolly told the audience after the performance, "I was backstage trying not to cry my false lashes off, slinging snot in every direction. Anyway, that was an amazing job and I had just a wonderful time."