At the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards, “The Voice” coach and “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson paid tribute to country superstar Dolly Parton with an amazing rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Watch a clip of it below.
Kelly Clarkson Brought the House Down On ‘I Will Always Love You’
Near the end of the awards show, Kelly Clarkson took the stage to perform Dolly’s smash hit “I Will Always Love You,” which Parton took to the top of the country charts in both 1974 and 1982, and the late, great Whitney Houston took to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1992.
Ahead of her performance, co-host and fellow “American Idol” alum Gabby Barrett introduced Clarkson by saying, “Now here to deliver a tribute to our amazing host Dolly Parton, please welcome a remarkably gifted artist and inspiration, Kelly Clarkson.”
The performance started out so reserved and quietly beautiful and then built to Clarkson blowing the roof off the place by the end. While Clarkson sang, fellow “American Idol” winner and music superstar Carrie Underwood could be seen singing along in the audience and Carrie jumped to her feet to applaud when the performance was finished.
On Instagram and Twitter, fans were gushing about the performance, calling it “phenomenal” and “iconic” and saying that it gave them “chills.”
“I will always love Kelly Clarkson,” wrote one fan and another added, “Is there anything she can’t sing????”
A fan on Twitter wrote, “It combined the sweetness of Dolly’s version, and the power of Whitney’s. Kelly always manages to make whatever she sings, hers,” and another wrote, “Simply amazing. She deserved this moment (and she held it together!!). There really is just nobody like her.”
After the performance, Parton came out on stage and said she just knows Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, was smiling down on them.
“I know that Whitney is smiling down on us tonight, so thank you very much — she would be proud of that,” said Parton. “I was backstage trying not to cry my false eyelashes off and slinging snot in every direction and tears. But anyway, that was an amazing job and I have had just a wonderful time being here tonight. I just want you to know that.”
Kelly Clarkson Is A Known Dolly Parton Fan
After her performance, Clarkson posted a photo to Instagram of herself with Parton captioned, “What is life?! Love you, @DollyParton!” She is a huge Dolly Parton fan — in fact, she has a huge black-and-white poster of Dolly performing hanging on the wall of her cabin in Montana.
During a tour of the cabin that Kelly filmed for her talk show, she showed off her Dolly poster on the wall and said, “There’s Dolly. What’s up, Dolly? Of course we have Dolly in the cabin.”
Clarkson was not the only person who paid tribute to Dolly Parton at the 2022 ACM Awards. Kelsea Ballerini took the stage alongside Parton to perform “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans,” which is the second track off of Parton’s new album, “Run, Rose, Run,” which is a companion album to the novel of the same name that Parton co-wrote with author James Patterson.
Following the performance, Ballerini took to Instagram to say it was an “unexplainable honor” to perform alongside Parton.
“It has been an unexplainable honor being around the force that is Dolly Parton. A trailblazer and legend in the truest sense of the word, and does it all with wit and heart and grace,” wrote Ballerini. “I’m just so giddy that I was able to tap into that magic for those three minutes on the @acmawards. Also, her novel ‘Run, Rose, Run’ is out now and it was SO fun voicing the character of Annie Lee!!! Go check it out. Feeling like the luckiest.”
“The Voice” returns in the fall of 2022. With no spring 2022 season, it is the first time in the show’s history that it will only air one season per year. There is no word yet as to which coaches are returning.