Gabby Barrett Details What It Was Like To Meet Dolly Parton: “A Little Nerve-Wracking”

Gabby Barrett dishes on her first interaction with Dolly Parton and explains how husband Cade Foehner "calms" her nerves.

What would you do or say if you ran into Dolly Parton?

Country music star Gabby Barrett experienced the dream-like scenario first-hand. On Monday, April 11, the hitmaker told People all about the encounter with the legend ahead of the 2022 CMT Music Awards on the red carpet.

The “I Hope” singer and Parton co-hosted the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in early March, but they were strangers before they tackled the gig together. The 22-year-old singer told the publication that they first met during rehearsals before the ceremony. She described the first impression as “a little nerve-wracking.”

“I went up to her and was like, ’Hi,'” shared Barrett. “And she was like, ’Oh, it’s you!’ And I was like, ’Yeah, it’s me!’ and I gave her a hug,” she added.

The “American Idol” alum mentioned that she did not know how to go about the warm welcome and embrace.

“I didn’t know if I was squeezing her too hard or too loose,” she explained to the outlet. “You just get in your head when you meet a legend. But she was really nice.”

Although the chart-topping artist created a friendship with the icon, Barrett said that she still looks up to Parton as a role model.

“She’s still a legend to me right now,” she confirmed. “I’ll let you know if that changes.”

Barrett returned to the CMT stage Monday night to perform, “Pick Me Up.” The track lives on Barrett’s 2021 deluxe record “Goldmine,” but the ceremony was the first time she shared the anthem on national television.

Just before the performance, Barrett told People that she did not have a worry in the world. The vocalist credits her calm nerves to her supportive husband and guitarist, Cade Foehner.

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