CMT Awards 2021: Is Dolly Parton Performing at Tonight’s Event?

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Steve Granitz/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Is The Backwoods Barbie, also known as The Queen of Country, planning on gracing the CMT Awards tonight? Unfortunately, it appears the answer so far is leading to a no, Dolly Parton will not be at the annual award show.

The “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “9 to 5” singer is seemingly taking a break from appearing at the CMT Awards. The beloved country music star is no stranger to awards and ceremonies. She has earned herself about 189 wins in a number of different categories and associations.

In fact, she has a total of 50 Grammy Award nominations, which is the second-most behind Beyoncé.

While Dolly Parton isn’t performing or presenting at tonight’s event according to lists released so far, it’s unclear if she may sneak in as a member of the crowd.

CMT Awards Tonight

According to the Tennessean, there’s still a lot for country music fans to look forward to at the CMT Music Awards. Even though the absence of Dolly Parton may burn bright, an interesting mix of presenters and performers will help make up for it.

Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini are the iconic co-hosts of the event. This is the second year in a row for Brown and the first for the “Hole in the Bottle” singer.

Chris Stapleton will perform with H.E.R and Carrie Underwood will team up with NEEDTOBREATHE. Meanwhile, Mickey Guyton is singing with Gladys Knight. Other performers include Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Brothers Osborne with Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Blanco Brown, Thomas Rhett, Lauren Alaina and Jon Pardi, as well as Luke Combs. There are many more lined up for the night as well.

The CMT Awards also have some diverse faces outside of the country music bubble serving as presenters. That includes Anthony Mackie, most known for his role as the Falcon in the Marvel world. Popular “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan will read off some nominees and announce a winner. Taylor Lewan, a Tennessee Titans lineman, is also tackling the awards ceremony. The show is airing from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

As always, several other country music stars will appear as presenters, such as Little Big Town and many more. Sadly, Maren Morris and Gabby Barrett both canceled appearances on the show due to scheduling and other personal issues.

You can go ahead and tune in for the show at 7 p.m. on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, or TV Land.

Dolly Parton Taking a Year Away?

After a steady and consistent career in music, movies, TV, charity work, and business, Dolly Parton may be taking a well-deserved breather in 2021. The CMT Awards isn’t the only thing she’s taking a break from.

She told The New York Times recently, “I’m sick of Dolly, ain’t you?” With all the stuff coming out, it’s like, if I hear one more product, one more story, one more thing about Dolly Parton … I think, ‘Well, maybe I better hang it up for a while next year.’”

While this may seem like terrifying news potentially worthy of shedding a few tears, there’s a good, business-oriented reason for it.

Dolly Parton’s manager, Danny Nozell, wants to avoid over-saturating the market with too many “Dolly products.” The hope is that some time away will make the heart grow fonder. When it comes time for more music or the next project, excitement will be at an all-time high.