The 29th Kennedy Center Honors were held in Washington D.C. this weekend, and while big shots like Zubin Metha, Steven Spielberg, Smokey Robinson and Andrew Lloyd Webber were given their due, the headliner for me at this particular event was Dolly Parton.
Last year Parton contributed the Oscar nominated song “Travelin’ Thru” to the Transamerica soundtrack, and this year a film dedicated to her god-status among the gays (For the Love of Dolly ) made the queer film festival circuit. Rumors of a lesbian relationship with best friend Judy Ogle have dogged her for years, but she’s never stooped to homophobic slurs when casually denying them. (My favorite of her quotes on the topic: “Judy and I have done everything together. But we’ve never done that.”)
At the Kennedy Center ceremony (which will air on CBS December 26), Kenny Rogers and American Idol Carrie Underwood sang the hit Rogers/Parton duet “Islands in the Stream” and, inexplicably, Jessica Simpson performed (and reportedly mangled) the theme song to 9 to 5 originally made famous by Parton back in the day.
I-e-i-e-i-e- will always love her music and her performance in that feminist comedy that made such an impact on my impressionable young mind.