Global superstar Dolly Parton served as a headliner at the UK’s long-running Glastonbury Festival on Sunday, June 29th. The mud-soaked event was witnessed by 100,000 fans in attendance and streamed live around the world.
“This is a very exciting day for me and we’ve got all kinds of things going on,” Parton told reporters at a pre-show press conference, according to the Guardian. “Look, I don’t have a bit of mud on me! When I was coming in this morning I was looking at all the mud and thinking, this is not that different from where I grew up in the mud. My daddy was a farmer in East Tennessee and I grew up on a farm — mud is mud wherever you go.”
Also at the press event, the most-honored woman in country music history received a huge plaque in recognition of her career-long sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide.
During her Glastonbury set, which also included a cover of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” Parton was joined on stage by Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora for a duet of “Lay Your Hands on Me,” written by Sambora and covered by Parton on Blue Smoke. (Watch their collaboration below.) It was Sambora’s second appearance with the country icon in two days. The pair also teamed up for that tune at Parton’s sold-out performance at London’s O2 Arena on Friday, June 27th.
Although the 68-year-old Parton did manage to stay mud-free once she hit the Pyramid stage, she did stir up a bit of controversy over whether she was lip-synching during her hour-long Glastonbury performance. Sky News presenter Kay Burley ignited the firestorm on Twitter with that suggestion, labeling the iconic entertainer’s set “disappointing.”
Actor Stephen Fry was among those coming to Parton’s defense, saying it was an “HD live processor issue” which made her appear to be miming such legendary hits as “Islands in the Stream” and “Jolene,” as well as songs from the recently released Blue Smoke album.
In a statement, a Parton representative denied the claim, saying, “Some people don’t know an amazing singer when they hear one.”