Grammy-winning director, Joseph Kahn has created a masterpiece in the new "Forever Country" music video. It's Country music's history, legacy, tradition, evolution and future on a spectacular moving canvas.
While her self-described simple lyrics from "I Will Always Love You" are woven throughout "Forever Country," Dolly Parton's presence in the video is nothing short of enchanting.
Dolly, Willie Nelson and 28 artists appear in what can only be described as the most incredible celebration of the genre since its inception. From breathtaking scenes within the Blue Ridge Mountains to a street view of the historic Ryman Auditorium the images tug on the heartstrings of generations of country fans. Watch closely for a glimpse of legends like Randy Travis, Charley Pride and Alabama. Current stars are also in the mix including Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
CMA 50th "Forever Country" is a mashup of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by the late John Denver, "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson and Dolly's "I Will Always Love You."
Viewers of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" received a sneak peek of the "Forever Country" video during the Tuesday night episode on Sept. 20. The world premiere was held online at ForeverCountry50.com.
"Forever Country" was introduced to radio listeners on Friday, Sept. 16. Proceeds from the sale of this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration benefit the CMA Foundation, which donates millions to support music education in schools.
The 50th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville, TN on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
Dollywood’s 2014 Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival brought two of Dolly’s favorites together in one of her favorite festivals,
“My Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival at Dollywood is especially close to my heart because it showcases the sweet harmonies of the finest bluegrass pickers and singers in the world alongside the most delicious barbeque you’re gonna find anywhere.”
The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, Dawn Sears and "Ranger Doug" Green highlighted the opening weekend of the festival.
Dolly was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 3, 2006, along with classical music conductor Zubin Mehta, musical artist Smokey Robinson, motion picture director Steven Spielberg, and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The award recognizes a performing artist’s lifetime contribution to American culture.
Steve Buckingham, Dolly’s longtime record producer, was not surprised by the honor at all because he feels Dolly’s impact has been "huge... not just because of her body of work as a singer and songwriter and an actress but her philanthropic work... That impact isn't limited to this country [U.S.]... I've been around different parts of the world with her, the U.K., Switzerland, Amsterdam, Paris... There's no place you go... that people don't know her. I always say, the one thing you never hear when you're anywhere with her is, `I wonder if that's Dolly Parton?' because there's no doubt."
Artists who performed or delivered remarks on Dolly’s behalf at the ceremony were actress Reese Witherspoon and musical performers Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Suzanne Cox, Cheryl White, Shania Twain, Vince Gill and Jessica Simpson.
President George W. Bush praised the honorees for “enriching the cultural life of our country."
Dolly was recognized as being part of the 'Vocal Event of the Year' (the category name was changed to 'Musical Event of the Year' in 2005) at the Country Music Association's (CMA) annual awards show for her song "I will Always Love You," released as a duet with Vince Gill on her album "Something Special."
The song, "I Will Always Love You," has had a long history of success for Dolly and for the artists who have covered it (most famously Whitney Houston). It was originally written by Dolly as a thank you to Porter Wagoner, her long time singing and television partner because she had decided to leave the partnership. Dolly said,
"It's saying, 'Just because I'm going don't mean I won't love you. I appreciate you and I hope you do great and I appreciate everything you've done, but I'm out of here…’ And I took it in the next morning. I said, 'Sit down, Porter. I've written this song, and I want you to hear it.' So I did sing it. And he was crying. He said, 'That's the prettiest song I ever heard. And you can go, providing I get to produce that record.' And he did, and the rest is history."
The Dolly and Vince collaboration of "I Will Always Love You" was also honored with a GRAMMY nomination and a TNN/Music City News nomination for Vocal Performance of the Year and ultimately reached number 15 on the country charts.