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Kelsea Ballerini shares the Dolly-ism that has stayed with her since her first conversation with Dolly Parton

M Kelseaballerini 18

Kelsea Ballerini duetted with living legend and fellow East Tennessee native Dolly Parton on the stage of this week’s ACM Awards, and the younger star shared her excitement over the duet with a series of photos and video clips that she could only describe as “The Dolly Dump.”

In one of those videos, Kelsea asks Dolly, “How long does it take to do your hair?” To which Dolly responds, “How would I know? I’m never there.”

It’s a classic Dolly-ism, and far from the first time Kelsea’s gotten to be on the receiving end of the country legend’s notorious wit. On ACM night, Kelsea told Cosmopolitan that early on in her career, she interviewed Dolly for a Q&A Series.

At the end of all the “thoughtful questions about how East Tennessee impacted her music and what it’s been like defying the odds and being such a successful woman in country music,” Kelsea had one more question, she remembers.

“My very last question was, ‘Dolly, how do you play guitar with your nails like that?’ She looked at me and deadpanned, ‘Good. I play it real good.’”

All these years later, sharing the stage with Dolly at the ACMs was “full circle,” Kelsea continued. The pair sang “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans,” off of the companion album to Dolly’s brand new book, Run Rose Run.

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