‘Inclusive everything’: Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks hope ACM Awards shows can unite

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garth brooks And dolly parton Some things are in common: Both are country icons with record-setting careers that have transcended the genre. both never scared speak up for what they believe in And back that thing from walking with your wallet.

So it's perhaps no surprise that as the pair prepare to co-host 58th Academy of Country Music Awards(Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime), they're on the same page when it comes to how the evening might resonate with viewers.

“I think music unites us,” Parton, 77, told USA TODAY. Brooks, a 13-time ACM winner, and Brooks, a 22-time winner, joined forces via Zoom from Nashville to promote the show. “I think it's the universal language, as they say. ‘The voice of the soul.'

Parton and Brooks' respective philanthropy and advocacy spans from child literacy and hospital research to same-sex marriage. Although the “9 to 5” singer said that neither she nor Brooks “march the streets to protest anything,” she added that they “both love people.”

“Our talk is inclusive,” Brooks, 61, said. “Never shut down a conversation. If you don't like what you're hearing, don't shut it down because you can still learn from it.

“Keep the conversation going. That's what love does. That's what empathy does. So inclusion is everything.”

Brooks said she hoped that inclusivity is what defines country music, to which Parton replied, “Amen.”

Now for the surprise: Despite knowing each other for years, this is the first time Parton and Brooks have worked together on anything. And for the six-time entertainer of the year, it's her first time co-hosting an show.

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“We'll see each other at the awards show but you just stand too far away. It's Dolly Parton, right?'” Brooks explained, throwing flowers her co-host's way and getting a skeptical look in return. (Parton's) band and crew were coming through from Oklahoma and we had them out at the ranch.

“It's amazing. She's Dolly Parton but also… she's dolly parton,

“Yeah, I'm just Dolly Parton, so cool it right there!” The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer quickly intervened, prompting Brooks to laugh. “We're looking forward to having a lot of fun and we're hoping we have a good show.”

For show only: broadcast from ACM Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas which primarily serves as a practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. Hardy and Lainie Wilson lead all cast members with seven and six nominations, respectively. When asked about the current list of nominees, Parton mentioned recent ACM Triple Crown Award winner (entertainer of the year, new artist and artist categories won), Miranda Lambert, who leads the evening with five nods. . “I have known Miranda for years. I'm always on her side,” Parton said. “And we have a lot of great newcomers like Lanny Wilson.”

Brooks said, “I like the traditional cowboy flavor, so Cody Johnson (three nominations), Luke Combs (five nominations)”. “All the current icons of country music will be there to represent and show that we are all one .”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ACM Awards: Host Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton Praise Inclusion