Lifetime Achievement Award: Dolly Parton

GRAMMY nominee Miranda Lambert on the lady we all adore, 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dolly Parton
  • Photo: ©Gary Hershorn/Reuters/Corbis
    Dolly Parton
February 12, 2011 -- 10:00 am PST
By Miranda Lambert /

When it comes to the headline of this tribute, it could have been just one word…Dolly. Dolly Parton is an icon among icons. She defines the word "entertainer." Yet somehow she never let go of her East Tennessee roots and infectious humor, which makes her the lady we all adore.

With a career spanning more than five decades, Dolly has proven that there is nothing she can't do. She's a singer, songwriter, author, actress, philanthropist, and straight-ahead businesswoman.

Dolly has proven herself well beyond the boundaries of country music, but she has carried the banner for country music no matter where her career has taken her. From her days getting started on "The Porter Wagoner Show" to topping the country music charts to her critically acclaimed bluegrass albums and winning every award in between, Dolly has become timeless.

And then there is her gift for songwriting, which is just that: a gift. Being a songwriter myself, one of the qualities I love most about Dolly is her ability to craft a song in such a way that you feel every note she's singing. With hits such as "Jolene," "Coat Of Many Colors" and "I Will Always Love You," which has been a hit in three different decades, including a best-selling single for Whitney Houston, you could say that songwriting loves Dolly.

And you know, Dolly couldn't stop at just singing and songwriting, she had to find other ways to entertain us, so she tried her hand at acting. In true Dolly fashion, she won our hearts with her wit and humor in movies such as 9 To 5 and Steel Magnolias, among many others.

Even with her incomparable awards and accolades over the years (she's won seven GRAMMYs and earned an impressive 45 nominations to date, among other awards she's received), Dolly has stayed true to herself and who she is. She has endeared us with stories from her childhood and proven to all of us who look up to her that anything is possible, no matter where you are from, and that dreams really do come true.

There is no one more deserving of The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award than Dolly Parton.

(Miranda Lambert performed on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" on Dec. 1, 2010. She has three nominations this year: Best Country Album for Revolution; Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "The House That Built Me"; and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Bad Angel" with Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson.)

The Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 1962, is presented by vote of The Recording Academy's National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. To view a complete list of Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, click here.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Julie Andrews, Roy Haynes, Juilliard String Quartet, The Kingston Trio, Ramones, George Beverly Shea
Trustees Award: Al Bell, Wilma Cozart Fine, Bruce Lundvall
Technical GRAMMY Award: Roger Linn, Waves Audio Ltd.


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