Braylyn Bruno | staff writer
On April 7, Netflix released Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute, more than two years after the filming of the show.
The special documentary was released to celebrate Dolly Parton being named MusiCares’ Person of the Year. This honor celebrates artists who are talented musicians and have a dedication to philanthropy, and is deemed one of music’s most prestigious honors.
The award celebrates people who have shown generosity and given back to the community, and Parton is the living embodiment of this ideal candidate. Most recently, Parton was in the news for her $1 million contribution towards COVID-19 vaccine efforts.
Parton has penned over 3,000 songs and won 10 Grammy Awards throughout her career.
Her background allows audiences to authentically connect with her songs, as songs such as “Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene,” “9 to 5” and others express themes of poverty, heartbreak and the working class. Parton’s storytelling hits close to home for many and makes her a truly unique artist.
The documentary is joyous and celebratory, as the world had not yet had its spirits dampened by the pandemic at the time of its filming. This upbeat spirit allows for a nice change of pace from today’s entertainment, as we see real people coming together with a reason to celebrate.
Little Big Town hosted the event and introduced standout artists such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Shawn Mendes. The night was full of performances from artists who came together to offer their own renditions of some of Parton’s greatest hits.
The kickoff to the show began with Mendes and Cyrus, Parton’s goddaughter, singing Parton’s classic song “Islands in the Stream,” accompanied by Mark Ronson on the guitar.
This performance was one of the strongest of the night, with the artists’ voices accompanying each other perfectly.
Cyrus showed her excitement and her relationship to Parton as she waved at the honoree from the stage.
Another standout performance of the night came from Yolanda Adams. Adams’ rendition of “I Will Always Love You” gave justice to Parton’s biggest hit ever. Adams’ high notes were a highlight of the night, and her performance itself made the short documentary worth watching.
Some performances were certainly stronger than others, but the diversity of artists chosen to perform will appeal to Dolly fans of all ages.
Of course the best part of the show was when Parton herself took the stage. The artist opted to sing “Coat of Many Colors,” a song that represents her journey in life. The song is rich in meaning, as Parton sings about how she’s rich even though her family had no money while she was growing up.
This song choice spoke towards Parton’s character and perfectly captured the reason why she was chosen to receive this high honor of MusiCares Person of the Year.
The documentary definitely achieves its objective of honoring Parton through the expression of music. However, in order to enjoy this documentary, Dolly lovers must be open to different interpretations of her music.
The majority of the show is performance-based, so aside from a few brief scenes speaking about Parton’s philanthropy achievements, not much is spoken about Parton’s life.
If you are looking for a short concert to virtually tune into while sitting at home, add this one to your list.