Dolly Parton is the subject of A&E’s upcoming Biography: Dolly, and in an unreleased clip from the special — which Billboard premieres exclusively below — Lady Antebellum and Lily Tomlin praise the country icon and actress for her multifaceted talents.
Following a clip of Parton singing “9 to 5,” Lady Antebellum discuss Parton’s impact on bringing country music to a bigger audience. “A song like ‘9 to 5,’ everyone could relate to,” Hillary Scott says. “From a woman’s standpoint, a lot of those lyrics are hitting on some hot buttons that we’re still talking about today.”
Adds bandmate Charles Kelley: “She gave country music a wider audience, she made it even more popular.”
Biography: Dolly premieres April 12 at 8 p.m. ET on A&E, and explores the life and career of Parton. The special traces the singer’s journey from her childhood and early days in Nashville to her multiple hit songs and recent 50th-anniversary celebration at the Grand Ole Opry.
“Working with Dolly and her team on the documentary was an incredible experience,” Justin Gorman, executive producer for Man Alive Entertainment, said in a statement to Billboard. “Having the queen of country open up her personal archives and share her stories have made the film extraordinary.
“The access was unprecedented and the interviews with the likes of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin gave real insight into the incredible talents of Dolly Parton,” he continued. “Dolly continues to be relevant because of her ability to connect with all ages and after 3000 songs there is something for everyone. Thank goodness the world has this living legend.”
Tomlin, Parton’s co-star in the film 9 to 5, further explains how the success of the movie showed the country singer’s versatility. “She was a big musical star and now a movie audience, with a huge hit as 9 to 5 was, just makes her better. A queen, an empress,” Tomlin said.
A clip of Biography: Dolly is below.