The special guest at an all-female performance slot curated by Brandi Carlile
Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance at Newport Folk Festival this past Saturday (July 27), performing classics like ‘Jolene’, ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘9 to 5’ with an all-star, all-female music line-up.
The country legend was the special guest at the day’s final performance slot, which the long-running Rhode Island festival had mysteriously billed as “♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration”, Pitchfork notes. It turned out to be a line-up of female musicians curated by Brandi Carlile, who was performing at the festival with her new supergroup The Highwomen.
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Parton made her grand entrance to raucous cheers and applause during The Highwomen’s cover of ‘Eagle When She Cries’. She dueted with Carlile on a tender rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’, performed ‘Just Because I’m A Woman’ and ‘Jolene’ with The Highwomen, and led the crowded stage in an energetic closing performance of ‘9 to 5’.
Watch the performances via fan-shot footage below.
This year, Newport Folk Festival booked the highest number of female acts in its 60-year history, Rolling Stone notes. Besides Carlile and The Highwomen – the quartet rounded out by Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires – other musicians involved in “♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration” were Judy Collins, Linda Perry, Sheryl Crow, Jade Bird, Lucy Dacus, Maggie Rogers, Yola and more.