Dolly Parton recently invited Carly Pearce to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, a moment captured in a video that was shared to social media last week that features Parton surprising Pearce, who thought she was participating in a commercial for Parton's theme park, Dollywood. Speaking to PopCulture.com and other media this week, Pearce recalled her life-changing moment, sharing that Parton's response after the fact involved the country icon's new perfume, Dolly — Scent From Above.
"I had tears everywhere and snot everywhere, because I was crying," Pearce said. "And [Parton] walked over to me and she had her new perfume in her hand and she said, 'Honey, do you want some of my perfume?' And then she goes, 'Smell my neck.' And I was like, 'Dolly, I have just cried for the last 20 minutes. I am afraid I'm going to snot on you.' And she handed me her perfume and she just told me that ... She kind of reiterated to me that she's done this for 50 years with the Opry and that she felt so excited to welcome me into the family."
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Pearce began her musical career by singing at Dollywood at age 16, so it seemed natural to her that she would be part of a commercial for the theme park. "They told me that Dolly wanted me to be a part of the new campaign that she was launching," she shared. "And I was like, 'Yes, please.' And I heard her high heels coming down the hall and I freaked out. And even when I saw her, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, she's going to do this commercial with me. This is so awesome. We get to do this together. Surprise, love it.'"
The "Next Girl" singer shared that she began to get an inkling that something else might be going on when Parton mentioned the Opry. "And then she used the O word, and I was like, 'Excuse me? Why are you asking me about the Opry?'" Pearce recalled. "And then she used it again. And then she used the O word with, 'You should be a member.' And I was like, 'Dolly, if you're not about...' My mind was like, 'If you are not about to say what I think you're going to say, I don't know what I'm going to do to you.' And when she said it, I fell to my knees."
Pearce noted that the video had to be edited "so much" because she was "hysterical." "My favorite part of the whole thing is, I dropped to my knees, and [Parton] goes, 'Well, you can't do it from down there,'" she said. "And I was like, 'Oh no. Dolly told me I got to get up. I got to get up.' So I try to compose myself. But in true Dolly fashion, she's like, 'Get your butt up.'"
"She, to me, is just the epitome of class and the epitome of a country music queen," Pearce gushed of Parton. "And the fact that she took time ... She's never asked somebody to be a member, invited them, in her 50 years of being a member. So that makes it even more special that she did that for me."