This past weekend Brandi Carlile gave Newport Folk Festival-goers a concert to remember.
The Rhode Island music festival celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, and during Carlile’s set—titled “♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration”—she performed with her new country music supergroup, The Highwomen. She also brought a surprise special guest waiting in the wings: ultimate country queen Dolly Parton.
Parton graced the stage after The Highwomen finished their cover of “Eagle When She Flies,” Parton’s 1991 hit from her record of the same name, and to say the crowd went wild is an understatement.
“Me and Rhode Island have a lot in common. We’re little but we’re loud,” Parton told the audience.
“It’s all about the girls this week and I love being one of the girls,” she continued, before adding that she’s been married to her husband, Carl, for 53 years.
“I just love being up here with all this girl power. I love to see us do good. I love it when we get a chance to certainly present our music and all that.”
The Highwomen returned to the stage for another rendition of “Eagle When She Flies”—this time with Parton—before also covering “Just Because I’m a Woman” and “Jolene.”
But Parton and Carlile’s duet of “I Will Always Love You” was the standout from their history-making set. Try not to tear up while watching the two women harmonize and gaze into each other’s eyes while singing Parton’s classic hit.
The Highwomen and Parton closed out their set by leading the audience in a spirited rendition of “9 to 5,” reminding us all why Parton is a true national treasure.