Dolly Parton Joins Brandi Carlile for Surprise Set at Newport Folk Festival

Check out this amazing, unforgettable moment!

Written by Chris Parton
Dolly Parton Joins Brandi Carlile for Surprise Set at Newport Folk Festival
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND - JULY 27: (L-R) Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby performs during the Newport Folk Festival 2019, the 60th anniversary, at Fort Adams State Park on July 27, 2019 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Douglas Mason/WireImage)

Country legend Dolly Parton shocked fans attending the 60th anniversary of the iconic Newport Folk Festival over the weekend (July 26-28), serving as the surprise highlight of an all-female set led by Brandi Carlile.

Billed mysteriously as “♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration,” the set featured Carlile and her country supergroup, the Highwomen (Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby), along with guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Jade Bird and many more. It was a girl-power show of force, to be sure, with Carlile thanking the fans for “being on the right side of history,” and Parton was the secret weapon.

The icon first joined in with the Highwomen and Linda Perry for a loping, harmony-heavy rendition of her 1991 classic, “Eagle When She Flies” — but not before delivering a few punch lines about Newport’s Rhode Island setting and her long history as a feminist icon. “I love being one of the girls,” she said. “Of course, I love my men, too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had one of my own.”

Parton was just getting started, though, and stuck around for five songs in total. The ahead-of-its-time “Just Becuase I’m a Woman” came next, showing why Parton has always been a hero for gender equality, and then she and Carlile teamed up for a duet on Parton’s immortal “I Will Always Love You.” The Highwomen came back for an epic singalong on “Jolene,” and then the whole Collaboration cast returned to close the set with an empowering run through the spirit-lifting fun of “9 to 5.” Talk about legendary.