Dolly Parton Asks “Ain’t You Proud?”

Backstage Conversations From the CMA Awards

When reporters backstage at the CMA Awards asked Dolly Parton questions about her Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, she had one of her own.

“Ain’t you proud of me for this? I am,” Parton laughed.

She told the group that she appreciates them and their help through the years leading up to the award, which she received at the 50th annual event on Wednesday night (Nov. 2).

“You’ve helped make this all possible,” she said. Parton admitted that because her acceptance speech on the show was cut too short, she ran out of time to thank her long list of supporters.

“I just had a lot of people I was going to thank and I had a few more corny jokes,” she said. “I said what I needed to say, and I understand time and shows, you can’t have time for everything. It wasn’t all about me. It was just a moment of mine and I appreciated it.”

And she was quick to add that she hoped the CMA didn’t think that because she’d won the Lifetime Achievement Award that she was done with achievements.

In fact, it sounds like the 70-year-old still truly loves what she does, and hopes she can keep on doing it.

“Of course, you never know what you’re gonna become or what you’re gonna achieve when you start out,” she added. “But when all these young women and these young stars say I inspired them, it makes me feel really good—makes me feel like I might’ve done something right along the way.

“I’m so grateful I’ve had the chance to make a living out of what I love to do,” she said. “I’d be singing in a bar if I hadn’t made it, I’m sure.”