As always, it was a joy to see country music star Dolly Parton grace another stage with her presence at the 2019 CMAs. During the event, she hosted with fellow female artists Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire and also performed a standout gospel medley with For King & Country and Zach Williams.
The trio of hosts kicked off the night with Parton’s 1987 track, “Those Memories of You,” and they were later joined by Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson and The Highwomen’s Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires, who, together, performed samples of a few other classic country hits.
Throughout the entire night, the “Jolene” singer and the others had a few outfit changes, but she always returned to the stage wearing her signature long sleeves. According to information she gave to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts for the ABC News special, Dolly Parton: Here She Comes Again!, she may have been covering some tattoos.
“I got them to cover scars or things,” Parton told Roberts. “If I have to get a scar for any reason, I never can kind of get rid of that purple look. So I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to kind of decorate these with some flowers or little butterflies or whatever.’”
It should come as no surprise that the legendary artist chose to decorate her body with butterflies. The often colorful, winged insect represents her theme park, Dollywood, and she wrote one of her early hits about them.
“They tell stories about me getting lost in the woods, and getting in trouble chasing butterflies,” she said. “I wrote a song called ‘Love Is Like a Butterfly,’ and it became a big hit in my early years.”
This isn’t the first time she’s been asked about her ink. Jay Leno was the first to publicly point them out when she was a guest on his late night show in 1999. Then, she admitted to having an angel and a butterfly. In 2016, Larry King was able to get her to open up a bit more. She explained that the tattoos cover keloid scarring that never fully fades on her fair skin. Keloids are raised scars that often result from surgery or injury. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, they tend to grow much larger than the wound that caused them.
“They’re not tattoos that are for big statements,” she told King. She said she started having little pastel “things” done and that she has “splattered them here and there.” But she assured him that she “wouldn’t be a biker chick or anything.”
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