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Gabby Barrett on meeting Dolly Parton: “She was wonderful”

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

Like most people, Gabby Barrett was charmed by Dolly Parton when they met for the first time. 

Gabby and Jimmie Allen got to work alongside Dolly when they all co-hosted the ACM Awards on Monday night, but Gabby met the legendary singer for the first time the night before the ceremony, and had nothing but kind words to say. 

“She was wonderful, of course,” Gabby shares with Entertainment Tonight. “When I stood next to her to practice and rehearse, I gave her a hug. I’m like, ‘am I hugging her too tight? Am I not hugging her tight enough?,’ just thinking of all these things.” 

Both singers made history at the show in Las Vegas, as 76-year-old Dolly became the oldest host in ACM Awards show history, while Gabby is the youngest at the age of 22. But Dolly put any worries the former American Idol contestant had to rest with her friendly demeanor.

“It went really good, she’s very sweet, very kind,” Gabby describes. “She made me fee very comfortable so I’m thankful for that.” 

Gabby took the stage multiple times during the show, performing Faith Hill‘s “Let’s Go to Vegas” during the opening number with Jimmie, and later singing a cover of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.”

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