ENTERTAINMENT — 03 March 2014

By Madeline O’Connor

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has confirmed that U.S. country star Dolly Parton will be playing this year’s music festival, which is one of the biggest in Europe.

Eavis said: “We’re really excited because it’s been something we’ve been wanting to happen for a long time. And she finally said yes.”

“It’s one of those rare things where someone like [Dolly] is in the country at the same time as Glastonbury, and we’re really, really excited about this. Hopefully Kenny put in a good word,” said Eavis.

Parton broke the news to her three million followers on Twitter, writing: “I’m incredibly excited to FINALLY announce that the #BlueSmokeWorldTour is coming to @GlastoFest on June 29th! ;) Stay tuned for more info…”.

Parton will perform in what has become known as the Sunday afternoon “legend slot” on the Pyramid Stage, a slot which was filled last year by an old pal of hers, Kenny Rodgers.

In an interview with Radio 4′s Front Row programme, Eavis added that she had made it her “life’s mission” to get Parton to agree to perform at Glastonbury, after being told years ago that she did not ‘do’ festivals.

“She stands totally alone, she’s such a brilliant star and I think one of the greatest female stars of our generation,” said Eavis, adding “And she doesn’t tour very often.”

When he 67-year-old Tennessee native spoke to the Irish World last November, she spoke of her love of Ireland, the Irish and their music, confessing she felt an innate bond with them growing up as she did in the Appalachian Mountains, many of whose early immigrants were Scots-Irish.

“All the songs I grew up singing came from the old world”, she said, “from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Hey, that’s in my Smokey Mountain DNA.

“I have a huge following in Ireland, they completely believe the songs I sing and I can feel that when I’m there, too. I really feel like I’m home when I come to Ireland.”

Parton’s Blue Smoke World Tour this summer includes dates in the UK and Ireland. For more, see www.dollyparton.com.

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