The Messy Dolly Parton Moment That Carly Pearce Is Glad We’ll Never See
Video of Dolly Parton inviting Carly Pearce to join the Grand Ole Opry was tightly edited, and the "Next Girl" singer doesn't sound like she's mad about it. Her emotions spilled — literally — out in several ways that she can only laugh about now.
Talking to Taste of Country Nights, Pearce re-lived the invite and filled in some holes in the narrative. The ruse was that she was filming a commercial for Dollywood, where she worked as a performer in her teens until she moved to Nashville. That alone was very exciting, as she admits she owes a lot to that time in her career. Then she heard and saw Parton approaching.
It wasn't quite enough to clue her in.
"Even when I saw her, obviously I was shocked and so excited," Pearce tells hosts Evan and Amber. "But I thought maybe she was doing the commercial with me. And I was like, 'Oh, well that's awesome.'"
"And then she started talking about the Opry and I was like, 'No way is that about to happen.' And then I just lost it."
Until the actual invite happened — Parton told her she was a member, but that ceremony isn't until Aug. 3 — Pearce says she was holding back her hopes and emotions. It was limbo.
"I feel like there was this huge choke on me, like, 'Don't show emotion. You might be getting asked but just be cool, be cool,'" she recalls.
Viewers watched as she doubled over into a crouch and began to cry. This was a dream come true for Pearce and her parents, with whom she Facetimed immediately and shared even more tears. Of course, Parton and Pearce chatted a bit more, too. It's the first time the legend has ever asked someone to be a Grand Ole Opry member, an honor that makes it all even more special for the young singer. Being gifted a bottle of Parton's new perfume helped, too.
"And she wanted me to smell it on her neck, which was so crazy, because I was like snotting all over myself," Pearce recalls, smiling, as she expressed concern that she might leave a trail on Parton's skin or designer outfit.
That part didn't make the highlights package.