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Dolly Makes Surprise Appearance at GLAAD Awards

Dolly Parton with Robert Greenblatt at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 10, 2011Dolly made a surprise appearance at Sunday night’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. Introduced by hosts Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, Dolly greeted the audience with a play on the organization’s name, saying, “Well howdy! I’m just so glad to be here!” Dolly showed up to present Robert Greenblatt (NBC Entertainment Chairman and Dolly’s 9 To 5: The Musical co-producer) with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, an annual award bestowed upon “an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.”

In introducing Greenblatt, Dolly said, “He’s never been afraid to push the envelope or stand behind things that can make a difference in this world. And of course I know a little something about what it means to march to the beat of your own drum cause for many years, I’ve enjoyed such good will from all kinds of folks, gay and straight. I thank you for that too. Because I really do think that I stand for being proud of who you are and not worrying a lick about what other people think. Really, and I feel fortunate that I’ve never had to be anything other than myself and I know Bob has lived his life in exactly the very same way. But we both know that there are many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who are afraid to live this way in spite of the fact that the world seems to be moving in a more tolerant and accepting direction finally, thanks to God.”

Dolly went on to comment about her own work in GLBT-related films including writing the Oscar-nominated “Travelin’ Thru” for the Transamerica soundtrack. “I wanted to write it because I love the message of the movie that everybody has a right to dignity in their lives.” Dolly then mentioned her work doing 9 To 5 and sang the chorus of the title song, much to the delight and cheering of the audience, before wrapping her introduction and welcoming Robert Greenblatt onstage. In his acceptance speech, he began with accolades for Dolly, saying, “We’ve all loved you for so many years because of the goodness that comes through everything you do, from your charity work to your incredible talent as an artist…there isn’t a more genuine, generous, or good-hearted person in the world.”

Dolly Parton with Melissa Etheridge at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 10, 2011While backstage at the GLAAD Media Awards, Dolly chatted with E! Online’s Marc Malkin about pop music sensation Lady Gaga and her upcoming movie Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah. When asked about Lady Gaga’s country version of her new single “Born This Way”, Dolly replied, “I think it’s great. It’s just wonderful. I love her…Maybe we should do something together—GooGoo and Gaga! You know those GooGoo candy bars in Nashville? I could be Lady GooGoo.” On the music of her Joyful Noise movie, Dolly said, “I wrote four of the numbers. There are a couple we got to do together. There’s a lot of great music in the movie.”

Watch Dolly’s full introduction and Robert Greenblatt’s acceptance speech in this video:

Read more coverage of the event from the LA Times Blog and GLAAD’s official blog.

Right after the GLAAD Media Awards, Dolly flew to London where she will be appearing on numerous U.K. television shows this week to promote her upcoming European tour this summer. Catch Dolly Tuesday evening on BBC’s The One Show, Wednesday morning on ITV’s Daybreak and This Morning, and Wednesday afternoon on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

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