Still working ‘9 to 5,’ Dolly Parton marks 50 years at Opry

Entertainment
Dolly Parton

FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2019 file photo, Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The CMAs announced Monday, August 19, 2019 that “special guest hosts” Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire will join Carrie Underwood during the Nov. 13 event. The organization says the show will celebrate “legendary women in Country Music throughout the ceremony.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country superstar Dolly Parton is still working “9 to 5,” and doing what she loves as she celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member.

The 73-year-old actress, singer and songwriter, who first played the Opry when she was just a teenager, played the longstanding radio show Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee, in front of sold-out crowds. Hank Williams Jr., Lady Antebellum and Toby Keith performed in her honor as well and her shows capped off a week of Dolly-themed performances and events at the Opry.

Dolly Parton_311708
FILE – In this June 15, 2016 file photo, Dolly Parton performs in concert during her Pure & Simple Tour in Philadelphia. Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

She joked to reporters before her performance that when the Opry approached her about the anniversary, she told them, “I don’t want people to think I’m 50 years old.”

The anniversary reminded her of the first time she got to perform at the Opry.

“Well a lot of people think this is my 50th year the Grand Ole Opry,” Parton said. “It’s actually been 60 because first time I got to sing on the Opry I was 13 years old. And actually Johnny Cash introduced me, I believe. And Jimmy C. Newman had given me his spot.”

Parton said she was grateful to still be chasing her dreams and said she’s got more film, TV and music projects on the way. The Opry performances will be aired on an NBC special on Nov. 26 and Netflix will air an anthology series based on her songs in 2019.

“I’m just very honored that I’m still around, not only to just get to accept this, that I can actually perform and get out there and still doing what I love to do,” Parton said. “And maybe I’ll be around another 50 years, who knows. If I’m lucky.”

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