Kelly Clarkson took to the stage at the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards on Monday night, March 7, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to honor the evening’s co-host Dolly Parton with a stunning performance of the icon’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Clarkson earned a rave review from Parton herself. “That’s so great,” Parton said. “I was backstage trying not to cry my fake eyelashes off.”
After the performance, Parton stayed onstage to award entertainer of the year to Miranda Lambert, her first win in the category.
“I Will Always Love You” was originally recorded by Parton in 1973. Written as a farewell to her business partner and mentor Porter Wagoner, expressing Parton’s decision to pursue a solo career, the country single was released in 1974.
The song was a commercial success for Parton, twice reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart: first in June 1974, then again in October 1982.
(Photo: Carter Smith)
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