(Left) Lainey Wilson / YouTube / (Right) Dolly Parton / YouTube
Lainey Wilson was the biggest winner at the 2023 ACM Awards. She earned four trophies, including the award for Female Artist of the Year.
Wilson accepted the award from the ceremony’s co-host, Dolly Parton. She was understandably starstruck upon meeting the woman she’s admired for so long.
“I can’t believe I just met Dolly Parton, first of all, ‘Whoa!‘” she said. Wilson went on to deliver an inspiring speech, saying:
“I tell you what, everybody in this category didn’t just wind up there by happenstance; they have worked their fingers to the bone, they have put blood, sweat and tears, and years into this. Made so many sacrifices missing a lot of weddings and a lot of funerals. Not that I want to go to all of them anyway, but I’m just saying. Oh my goodness! For the little girls watching this: this right here is thanks to hard work. If you’re gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer.”
After that, Wilson surprised viewers by joining Jelly Roll onstage to sing “Save Me” before she burst into a red-hot performance of her own song, “Grease.”
Wilson has another duet coming down the pipeline…and it’s actually with Parton! Parton shared the news during an interview with ET Canada that she and Wilson recorded a duet for an upcoming album honoring The Judds.
“With Lainey Wilson…I just did, with her, we’ve got a song we did for The Judds,” Parton said. “They’re doing an album for The Judds for mental illness and some of the problems that [Naomi Judd] had. So they’re doing a whole album of the songs, and I got to do ‘Mama He’s Crazy’ with Lainey.”
The pair recorded their duet prior to meeting at the ACM Awards.
Wilson previously gushed about Parton while speaking with Entertainment Tonight in 2022:
“I’m telling you, Dolly Parton, hands down, [is] one of the biggest inspirations, I mean, for so many people around the world,” Wilson said. “I mean, who she is, the way she tells it how it is with a little bow wrapped on top, she’s just a good person and has a heart of gold. I think if we were all a little bit more like her, the world would be a much better place.”
We can’t wait to hear Parton and Wilson’s duet! They’re sure to sound amazing together singing in tribute to The Judds.
In the meantime, head below to listen to Wilson honor Parton by performing a cover of her famous song “9 to 5.”