Dolly Parton wows Glastonbury crowds – but was she miming?

Jun 30, 2014

The 'pint-size knickerbocker glittering glory' drew huge crowds with her famous hits Jolene and 9 to 5

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Dolly Parton has been hailed as the "undisputed queen of Glastonbury" after she drew one of the biggest-ever crowds to the Pyramid Stage last night.

Thousands of revellers cheered as the 68-year-old country music star performed her famous hits such as Jolene and 9 to 5, as well as a new song written especially for the festival entitled Mud.

She took centre stage on most of the front pages this morning, with newspapers widely praising her "dazzling" performance.

In a five-star review for The Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson describes her as "ridiculous, yet sublime". Wearing "rhinestones, more rhinestones, and an extra sprinkling of rhinestones", Parton strutted across every inch of the stage, cheering, hollering and clapping, says Nicholson. "She was so wonderfully entertaining that when the big screen cut out for a mere fraction of a second, the entire arena gasped, as if to say: 'Don't you dare take her away from us.'"

Even Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was urging his Twitter followers to watch her set on television, describing her final song, I will always love you, as "brilliantly performed".

Parton also won five stars from the Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick, who named Parton the "undisputed queen of Glastonbury". She played guitar, melodian, banjo and saxophone and sang "like a nightingale", says McCormick. "It may have been a festival bill full of uncompromising rock bands but it was a veteran country and western star who stole the show."

Indeed, the audience for Parton was larger than that for Friday and Saturday's headliners, Arcade Fire and Metallica.

Yet, many viewers at home were convinced that Parton was miming, complaining of a time lapse between her mouth movements and the sound.

Sky News anchor Kay Burley complained on Twitter that she was let down by the alleged miming, writing: "Oh, Dolly is miming. How disappointing."

But a spokesman for Parton insisted that the singer's vocals were live and Stephen Fry also came to her defence. "Believe me, that is not miming. If it appears not always to lip-sync that's an HD live processor issue," he tweeted.

The Daily Mail's Jan Moir also dismisses the very idea that the "pint-size knickerbocker glittering glory" was miming, praising her as the "ultimate professional".

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