Dolly Parton Performs ‘Precious Memories’ at ACM Awards in Honor of Naomi Judd and Loretta Lynn, Who Both Died in 2022

Dolly Parton had the honor of sharing the stage with Garth Brooks as co-hosts of the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards – also known as the ACM Awards. While the night was headlined by those that won an award, the two co-hosts took some time to remember the country legends we lost in the past year. 

More specifically, Parton honored her two friends Naomi Judd and Loretta Lynn, both of whom died in 2022, with an emotional a cappella performance of ‘Precious Memories’ by Alan Jackson. She described Lynn as a ‘hero and called her one of the most important, yet down-to-earth singer-songwriters in history.’ 

As for her Judd, she called her one of the G.O.A.T.’s and remembered her love of big hair. “And of course Naomi and I, well, we’re the same age, both real G.O.A.Ts, Capricorns, and we loved big hair. I still do. And we loved that makeup. But above all else, we loved each other,” Dolly Parton said of her late friend.

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Naomi Judd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 30, 2022 – she was 76 years old at the time of her death. The country music star had been suffering from mental health issues – including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks – for several years, but her medication wasn’t really helping. 

“I can’t quite wrap my head around it and I don’t know that I ever will. That she left the way she did,” her daughter, Wynonna Judd, said after her death. “With the same determination she had to live, she was determined to die. It’s so hard to comprehend how someone can be so strong and yet so vulnerable.” 

Loretta Lynn died in her sleep on October 4, 2022 – she was 90 years old at the time of her death. While no immediate cause of death was revealed, there was no apparent foul play and it was presumed that she died of natural causes. She had previously suffered a stroke in May 2017 and broke her hip in 2018.

“So sorry to hear about my sister, friend Loretta,” Dolly Parton wrote on Instagram at the time. “We’ve all been like sisters all the years we’ve been in Nashville and she was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them. I miss her dearly as we all will. May she rest in peace.”

Dolly Parton New Rock Album Releases in November

In addition to her ‘Precious Memories’ performance in honor of her two late friends, Dolly Parton took the stage one more time towards the end of the 2023 ACM Awards show. She performed her newest single ‘World on Fire’ from her upcoming rock album Rockstar – which is set to be released on November 17. 

“I am very honored and privileged to have worked with some of the greatest iconic singers and musicians of all time and to be able to sing all the iconic songs throughout the album was a joy beyond measure. I hope everybody enjoys the album as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together,” she wrote in a statement.

The album is one of the most-anticipated albums of the year and contains a 30-song collection – including 21 ‘iconic rock anthems’ and nine new, original tracks for fans to enjoy. She teamed up with artists such as P!nk, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Chris Stapleton, Lizzo, and her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus

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Dolly Parton is one of the most influential singers-songwriters of all-time and continues to spread her love and positivity with the world on a daily basis. As she embarks on a new chapter in her life – as a rockstar – let’s not forget the many music legends we’ve lost recently, including Naomi Judd and Loretta Lynn.

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