In 1978, legendary country artist Dolly Parton had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction at a more than inconvenient time – a few minutes before accepting the Entertainer of the Year award at the CMA Awards.
In a 2016 interview with People, Parton explained the situation as she accepted the big award. The iconic singer made the best of the moment like only Parton can.
“I remember thinking this is such a beautiful dress, but the fabric is so delicate! I thought, ‘Man, as tight as I wear my clothes – and I was a little hefty then anyway – I hope this all holds together!'” Parton said in the magazine’s Special Edition: 50 Years of the CMA Awards. “When they called my name, I felt something creeping up my stomach. And I thought, ‘Oh My God – my dress is coming apart!’ And I thought ‘What am I gonna do?'”
Dolly Takes the Mishap in Stride, Laughs It Off
Indeed, just before presenters Johnny Cash and Ronnie Milsap read Parton’s name as the winner, her dress split down the front. Of course, Dolly being Dolly, she turned what could have been a disaster into a lighthearted, fun moment. In fact, everyone enjoyed a laugh including the crowd of 5,000, the famous presenters, and Parton herself.
“Marianne Rogers (Kenny Rogers’ wife in 1978) had on a big fur stole and I was sitting down there near her. So I grabbed her stole and held it up,” Parton explained.
As Parton took the stage to accept the award, she held the fur in front of her where the dress ripped. As she started her acceptance speech, the singer immediately admitted to the mishap.
“I had this dress made in case I won and about five minutes ago, I was hoping I wouldn’t win because I busted the front out of it!” she said to the laughing crowd. “But my daddy says that’s what I got for putting 50 pounds of mud in a 5 pound bag!”
You can watch the short clip of Parton accepting the award at the 3 minute mark in the video below.