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Dolly Parton took the stage at the 2023 ACM Awards last night to pay tribute to the late great country music legends Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd with a powerfully emotional a cappella performance.

Parton’s Emotional Tribute To Lynn And Judd

Both Lynn and Judd passed away in 2022, and it was only fitting that the iconic Parton, 77, be the one to pay tribute to them. Parton described Lynn as “a hero and one of the most important, but still down-to-earth singer-songwriters in history.”

“And of course Naomi and I, well, we’re the same age, both real G.O.A.Ts, Capricorns, and we loved big hair,” she added. “I still do. And we loved that makeup. But above all else, we loved each other.”

Garth Brooks, who was hosting the awards show with Parton, commented that her tribute was “beautifully said.”

“Tonight we lovingly remember all those we’ve lost in our country music family,” he continued. “And we promise to do our best to keep the circle forever unbroken in their memory.”

“I agree with that,” Parton added.

Judd tragically took her own life in April of 2022 at the age of 76, according to People Magazine. Lynn then died in October of natural causes at the age of 90.

Related: Dolly Parton Responds To Naomi Judd’s Passing

Parton Opens Up About These Losses

Parton has been open about how difficult it was for her to lose both Judd and Lynn in the same year.

“With Loretta, she was very dear to me, like a sister,” Parton told TODAY in December. “Same with Naomi. We were (the) same age, and we loved the same things. And I loved her. And then I also lost Kenny Rogers — three of my dearest people — in essence, in a very short period of time.”

“And I grieve over them almost like you do a family member,” she continued. “And I think of them, but you try to keep the good memories.”

Parton went on to say that the song “Precious Memories” by Alan Jackson reminds her of her late friends.

“The line I love in that song is, ‘Precious memories, unseen angels sent from somewhere to my soul.’ And I think about that. Those precious memories,” she explained. “They just flow in and out of you, and you remember special things about them.”

Parton concluded by saying that their lingering presences in her memories feel “like unseen angels, and you feel like they’re still all around you.”

“Oh, my God. That’s so beautiful. I feel very weepy,” host Hoda Kotb replied as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Check out this full interview in the video below.

Related: Dolly Parton And Reba McEntire Pay Touching Tribute To Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn After She Passed Away At 90

Parton’s Comments On Judd And Lynn’s Deaths

Days after Judd’s suicide, Parton said that she was “shocked” to hear the news of her death.

“Naomi and I were close. We were very similar,” Parton said, according to The Tennessean. “We were the same age and both Capricorns. We loved big hair, makeup and music.”

Parton’s tribute to Lynn immediately after her death was equally as touching.

“So sorry to hear about my sister, friend Loretta,” she said, according to WATE. “We’ve been like sisters all the years we’ve been in Nashville and she was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them. I miss her dearly as we all will. May she rest in peace.”

Parton is clearly having a tough time coming to terms with the deaths of two of her most beloved friends. Lynn and Judd were both true legends, and there will never be another one like either of them. If anyone was fit to pay tribute to them, it’s Parton, so we’re glad she got the chance to do so last night!

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