Dolly Parton wows Brisbane fans
COUNTRY music icon Dolly Parton wrapped up her final Queensland show last night to a standing ovation at the packed Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
The petite singer walked on stage in a glittering silver dress and blonde curls piled high on her head.
"The higher the hair, the closer to God as they say," she said.
Parton opened the show with an enthusiastic, all-smiling and all-glittering cover of Walking on Sunshine, followed by Baby I'm Burning and Jolene.
"You've been good to me over the years," she said.
"I just feel like I know you people."
She thanked her Australian fans for buying her records over the years, joking that they helped maintain her signature "glamorous" look, saying "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap".
Parton then sang two medleys, the first comprised of a few bluegrass tunes including Rocky Top and the other a trio of covers of The Beatles' Help, Shine by Collective Soul and Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, famously disliked by her husband Carl Dean who dubbed it "stairwell to hell".
Parton effortlessly moved from upbeat gospel numbers to touching renditions of My Tennessee Mountain Home, Coat of Many Colors and Precious Memories before closing the first half with songs -including a rap - from her upcoming movie Joyful Noise.
"You know what you get when you mix country and rap? Crap," she laughed with the audience.
Her mixture of anecdotes and wholesome humour with a hint of self deprecation easily won over the audience.
I hear someone behind me say to the person next to her "she's such a dag".
I think about that for a minute and decide yes she is, in the best sense of the word.
She knows where she's from, what she's good at and when to have a laugh at herself.
The second half of the show was all about those big hits her fans had been waiting for: White Limousine, Islands in the Stream, 9 to 5 and I Will Always Love You.
She talked about Australia's most famous country music export, Keith Urban, and pointed out his parents in the audience.
"We want to thank them personally for having Keith," she joked.
She then dedicated her hit Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That to the country heartthrob.
As well as hitting those high notes effortlessly, Parton also showcased her many other musical talents, playing everything from a gold sparkling piano, glittering electric and acoustic guitars, banjo and fiddle to saxophone, flute and autoharp.
While many have wondered if this will be her last tour of Australia, Parton declared she was far from slowing down.
"I will never ever retire," she said.
The Australian leg of Dolly Parton's Better Day world tour finishes with shows in Sydney tonight and Melbourne on Thursday.